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Bee-lovers share ideas across capital

5 October 2017

Bee keeping

A buzzing conference for all those interested in creating a greener city kicks off in Cardiff next week.

Bee Well Cardiff (9 October) brings together community groups, charities, businesses, academics, the City Council, and Welsh Government to create a one-day hive of activity to share ideas across the capital.

The event is hosted by Cardiff University’s School of Pharmacy, which recently won a Guardian UK sustainability award for its Pharmabees project to create a bee-friendly university.

Professor Les Baillie is leading the University’s research bid to find Wales’s answer to New Zealand’s therapeutic Manuka honey. His team’s goal is to create a citywide habitat that benefits all urban pollinators. By planting certain wildflowers whose nectar is present in antibacterial honey, he also hopes to develop a bee-driven solution to antimicrobial resistance.

Professor Baillie said: “Bee Well Cardiff is our first-ever citywide event. As befits a capital, the city is full of energetic people doing their bit to create a green and pleasant place to live. Activities range from local community-led projects to city-wide action focused on increasing biodiversity and pollinator numbers..."

"We believe that if, like the honey bee, we worked together towards a common shared vision, we could achieve great things. Bee Well Cardiff is our first step towards this long-term goal."

Professor Les Baillie Professor of Microbiology

The event is backed by Lesley Griffiths, Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs.

Wales was the first country in the UK to have an Action Plan for Pollinators to reduce and reverse the decline in pollinator numbers. And Welsh Government’s Bee Friendly scheme, a national initiative aimed at encouraging more people to help pollinators, recently celebrated its first birthday.

Lesley Griffiths said: “Cardiff University is carrying out some really impressive work on its Pharmabees project. It’s talking to organisations across the city and showing what can be done from a starting point of just a few beehives on the roof of its pharmacy building..."

"It’s great to see the passion and enthusiasm of all those involved in the world of bees across the city of Cardiff."

Lesley Griffiths Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Welsh Government

Bee Well Cardiff has invited a range of speakers to represent the diversity of work currently underway. But organisers also want small community groups to get involved, join them, and use the day’s energy to create future work.

“We will provide space for organisations and groups to set up stalls to provide a point of contact for interested parties,” added Professor Baillie.

“And in the afternoon, we plan to hold workshops around some key themes so people can share thoughts and perspectives.”

Bee Well Cardiff takes place on 9 October between 09:00 and 16:00 at the Glamorgan Building, Cardiff University, Cathays Park, Cardiff.

Learn more about the 'bee friendly city'.

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