Bees as a Beeston Brand?
Bringing Local People, Businesses And Visitors Together
Growing up in Beeston, I loved the statue and symbol of George, the Beeston Beekeeper.
I loved touching the little bronze bees and imagining them coming to life. I knew that Beeston had no history of beekeeping, but I would tell my friends that it did and that the beekeeper honoured the name of the town. It was a clear image to present, and a great way to picture and remember the town where I was born.
Fast-forward to the present day and I now live in “the big smoke”. I work for a charity called Hands On London, who are greatly involved in supporting environmental projects across the city, mobilising thousands of volunteers across dozens of sites to increase and improve green spaces in local communities.
This year Bee the Change forms the focus of our environmental work. Aiming to help improve and increase habitats that support pollinators like bees - vital for a healthy natural environment and crucial for our food system - working alongside environmentalists, horticulturalists and local authorities.
The campaign will help with the creation of new wildflower areas, improved pollinator friendly planting and installing beneficial features such as bug hotels and ponds.
Creating Pollinator Hot-spots
As part of the campaign, we aim to raise the profile of pollinators and their importance to us, and provide education and engagement opportunities to enable residents, community groups, schools and businesses to create their own pollinator hotspots, big or small.
In March 2021 we worked with Maxilla Men’s Shed, a community workshop in North Kensington, constructing Bee Hotels with environmentalists and council representatives. These pollinator hotspots will form a Borough wide pollination network or ‘stepping-stones’ to join existing habitats and green spaces, forming Kensington and Chelsea’s Bee Superhighway - so why not in Beeston?
Benefits of Collaboration
The building of the Bee Hotels will not only have a huge environmental impact, but the project has also been a fantastic example of community collaboration; with public, private and voluntary sectors working together.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic the direct link between the environment and human wellbeing has never been clearer.
The Bee Hotel Project is an interactive and intergenerational unifying activity with long lasting benefits all round. Now the team is set to create Bee Hotels to install across more London Boroughs, with the most recent request coming from the gardens of the Natural History Museum itself!
Bee Hotels in Beeston
A Bee Hotels campaign like this would be so translatable to Beeston.
Supporting bee conservation would play into the distinct bee image that identifies with the area and the historical fiction of the town. The construction and maintenance of Bee Hotels would also provide a wealth of opportunities for local people, businesses and visitors to work together to create something not only symbolic, but beneficial for insects and humans alike! - Helping Beeston to Buzz?
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