Pharmabees launches Just Giving page
14 September 2020
An award-winning project that supports bees and other pollinators in Wales is appealing for public support. Pharmabees – based in Cardiff University’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences – began life as a laboratory-based quest to identify new antibiotics in honey and native Welsh plants which could be used to treat the antibiotic resistant superbugs.
The project has grown to involve public engagement with schools, councils, businesses and charities in a bid to develop Wales’s answer to New Zealand’s famed Manuka honey. As a citizen science project, the Pharambees team ask collaborators such as school pupils in Cathays, Cardiff, to keep a record of which plants grow best and which attract the most insect visits through a BioBlitz nature survey.
Professor Les Baillie said: “The information which our junior scientists collect will be used to help the university to develop a wildflower ‘superseed’ mix – containing the best flowers for honeybees. Producing give-away packets of flower seeds is expensive and so by setting up a fund-raising page, we hope to be able to raise enough cash to distribute more seed packets to children in Cathays as we seek to develop urban bee gardens where pollinators can flourish.
“We are also working with schools to connect children in urban areas with nature, and highlight the importance of science. We hope Pharmabee activities will play a useful role in helping pupils develop STEM skills, from accurately recording bee sightings to distinguishing plants and insects, and more.”