Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh hosts bee events

From 7 February to 7 June Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh is holding events inspired by new research into bee populations in urban areas.

RBGE will showcase an EU Life-funded research project. The programme will feature an interactive exhibition ‘Urban Bees’ and a talk by Dr Bernard Vaissiere, Institute of Agronomy director.

‘Urban bees’ features life sized bee models, bee information and educational games and activities.

Featured alongside the exhibition will be results of research conducted by four UK Universities (Edinburgh, Bristol, Leeds and Reading) into urban pollinators in British cities.

Professor Graham Stone of Edinburgh University said: ‘We found that the best habitats are usually allotments or gardens. The best places are likely to be less tidy sites with nesting and overwintering sites, as well as flowers for nectar and pollen.’

In an illustrated talk on 9 March Dr Bernard Vaissière will introduce the diversity of wild bees and the important role they play in the life of plants and people.

The talk will be followed by a panel discussion with experts from Scottish Wildlife Trust, the Urban Pollinators Project (University of Edinburgh), City of Edinburgh Council, and Buglife.

Elsewhere in the RBGE the bee-related activities continue. A public hive will be installed in the garden allowing visitors the opportunity to see honey bees at work. A series of bee and honey-related workshops and events are programmed for the Edinburgh International Science Festival on 10 and 11 April.

Also on display in the John Hope Gateway will be an exhibition of recent artworks by Amy Shelton. Entitled ‘Bee Works | Florilegium’ the exhibition will encompass ‘Florilegium: Honey Flow’, a series of artworks illuminating the melliferous (honey yielding) floral sources vital for UK honeybees to sustain their colonies. Another series, ‘Melissographia’, Shelton’s collaboration with John Burnside, will also be on display.

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