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bees on campus

7 Dec 2018

Loughborough University wins award for supporting bees

Loughborough University has been recognised for its efforts to care for bees by being awarded the ‘Bees Needs’ award from Green Flag.

The award celebrates Green Flag accredited sites which make positive changes for pollinators.

The University has an apiary on campus with five colonies, which is run by a group of staff and student volunteers. This year, the bees on campus produced over 200lbs of honey.

Some of this honey is sold to students, staff and the local community, but primarily the apiary on campus aims to support bees and provide a hands-on education resource for staff and students of Loughborough.

Two-thirds of the Loughborough campus is green, and many areas across it have been sown as wild flower meadows with species chosen specifically to provide pollen and nectar for the bees and other valuable pollinators. Where trees are felled, the arborists now leave a large part of the trunk in place and drill holes to support the survival of solitary bees.   

The judges were particularly inspired by the symbiotic relationship between the apiary and The Fruit Route, and the way the two initiatives created a cohesive and enjoyable community atmosphere. 

The Fruit Routes project has not only provided the bees with a valuable food source throughout the season, but it has also supplied the community with various fruits and nuts, and educational events have also taken place throughout the year.  

Of the award, Jo Shields, Sustainability Manager at the University said: “It’s great to be recognised as a campus that provides a good habitat for bees. 

“Due to the diversity of planting and the extensive trees across the site, bees have forage available all season. This helps them to prosper and in turn they pollinate the plants which is a mutually beneficial process. This award reinforces that setting up an apiary to support the bee population was a positive step for Loughborough University.”

For more information about the biodiversity on campus, visit the Sustainability webpages. Discover how Loughborough Gold honey is made by watching the video below.