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Busy bees at Birmingham with Bags of Help

There’s a bit of a buzz going on in the West Midlands – thanks to Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme, bee populations across Birmingham are enjoying a revival.

Sustainable Life, a voluntary organisation that works across the city to bring eco-friendly life skills to people of all ages and abilities, received £2,000 from Tesco’s Bags of Help programme for its ‘Brumtastic Bees’ project.

The group has used the grant to install two warre hives and two bee nucs (small honey bee colonies) in local sites, with the aim of improving bee activity in the area. In a bid to help local residents learn more about bees, the group have invited volunteers to watch the bees at work through a special viewing panel in the hive – helping to teach them more about the bees’ distinguishing features and habits.

Stephanie Adelaar, spokesperson for Sustainable Life, said:

“Bee populations across the world are falling rapidly, and it’s concerning how few people are aware of the growing problem, which could have disastrous consequences for wildlife and food production.

“We need to better educate people on the harmful effects of pesticides and weed killers – otherwise this could lead to a global crisis.”

The group has also used the funding to provide training days for volunteers for each of the sites. So far, they have learned how to maintain and weatherproof the hive, how to add a honey super (a device used to collect honey) and how to identify the queen bee.

The year of training will conclude with a harvest of honey, which many of the volunteers are hoping will be an effective natural remedy for their hay fever.

Stephanie added:

“It’s been a wonderful learning experience for everyone in the community. We can’t wait to get a taste of the honey when it’s ready to collect next year. We’re planning on offering it to local residents to raise money for community spaces.”

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