July 2021

Bee the hero

all photos by @richardlphotography
Bee the hero
In the summer of 2021, we teamed up with the Manchester Beekeeping Association with the goal of looking into the life of a humble bee. Urban beekeeping is gaining popularity and MDBKA is in the forefront of beekeeping in Manchester.

MDBKA has set itself a challenge of training a new generation of beekeepers as well as educating the public about bees and how to make your garden and green spaces bee friendly.
Urban beekeeping
Urban beekeeping, the practice of keeping bees in urban or suburban areas, has become increasingly popular in recent years. This is due to a growing awareness of the importance of bees for pollination and the environment, as well as a desire for locally sourced honey. Urban beekeeping can provide many benefits for both bees and humans, including increased biodiversity, improved pollination, and a source of honey and other bee products.

One of the main benefits of urban beekeeping is that it increases biodiversity in the city. Urban areas often lack natural habitats for bees, making it difficult for them to find food and nesting sites. By keeping bees in the city, beekeepers provide a safe and stable environment for them to thrive. Additionally, bees will also pollinate plants in the surrounding area, which can increase the variety of plants and flowers in the city, leading to a more diverse ecosystem.

Urban beekeeping can also improve pollination in the city. Many fruits, vegetables, and nuts rely on bees for pollination, including almonds, apples, blueberries, and cucumbers. By keeping bees in the city, beekeepers ensure that these crops receive the pollination they need to thrive, which can lead to higher yields and a more sustainable food system.

Beekeeping provides a source of honey and other bee products. Honey is a natural sweetener that can be used in cooking and baking, and it has many health benefits. In addition to honey, bees also produce wax, which can be used to make candles and other products, and propolis, which has medicinal properties.

However, there are also some challenges to urban beekeeping. One of the main challenges is dealing with the pests and diseases that can affect bees. Urban beekeepers must be diligent in monitoring their hives for signs of disease and take steps to prevent infestations.

To overcome these challenges, urban beekeepers should be well-educated about beekeeping practices and the biology of bees. This can be done through classes and workshops offered by local beekeeping organizations. Additionally, urban beekeepers should also be proactive in educating their neighbors and community about the benefits of urban beekeeping and how to safely coexist with bees.

In conclusion, urban beekeeping is an important practice that can provide many benefits for both bees and humans. By keeping bees in the city, beekeepers increase biodiversity, improve pollination, and provide a source of honey and other bee products. However, urban beekeeping also has its challenges and beekeepers should be well-educated, proactive and responsible to overcome them and ensure a safe and sustainable beekeeping.

Wrap up
Working on this project has been really eye-opening for us. We only scratched the surface of the importance of bees in our lives. There is a lot of work that needs to be done by all of us to protect bees and insects so we can all live in a healthier and much more beautiful environment.

Big thank you goes to all at MDBKA, especially John and Chris as well as Rachel for her role as an apprentice beekeeper in the film. As well as Richard for the help with filming and all photography.