There’s a buzz in the air

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Will Hen­shaw

An eco group in To­ry­glen are help­ing a Glas­gow col­lege to bee good next year.

Ur­ban Roots, who op­er­ate out of To­ry­glen Com­mu­nity Base, are go­ing to teach Glas­gow School of Art stu­dents how to keep bees.

The group have six bee-hives, or colonies, within To­ry­glen. Each houses a queen bee and around 60,000 drones

They run bee keep­ing cour­ses each year for any res­i­dents look­ing to learn about the hon­ey­mak­ing in­sects.

Com­mu­nity Ranger with the group Tom Cooper said: “Ev­ery­one wants to keep bees now and Glas­gow School of Art are no dif­fer­ent. We will shortly be get­ting three ad­di­tional hives for the Glas­gow School of Art and we will be keep­ing them here, how­ever we prob­a­bly won’t be do­ing the course with their pupils un­til af­ter Christ­mas.

“They orig­i­nally wanted to keep the hives on top of their build­ing, but we told them that wasn’t the right place for bees.”

And there is cur­rently a bee­keep­ing course on­go­ing for res­i­dents.

Tom added: “The bee cour­ses are go­ing well, we’re in to the prac­ti­cal ses­sions now, so they are learn­ing how to prop­erly han­dle the hives.”

The par­tic­u­lar bees Tom or­dered are Western Honey Bees, from Ayr­shire as it is not wise to move bees great dis­tances as they don’t en­joy shifts in cli­mate.

In the tem­per­ate zone, honey bees sur­vive win­ter as a colony, and the queen be­gins egg lay­ing in mid- to late-win­ter to pre­pare for spring. This is most likely trig­gered by longer day lengths.

As well as mak­ing honey, the honey bees pol­li­nate count­less hectares of agri­cul­tural crops. It’s es­ti­mated that a third of the food we eat could be at­trib­uted to pol­li­na­tion by bees.

The pro­duc­tiv­ity of mod­ern agri­cul­ture would be dras­ti­cally re­duced with­out the hum­ble honey bee. There is a whole in­dus­try based around truck­ing bee hives to crops for pol­li­na­tion du­ties.

Visit www.ur­ban­ for more in­for­ma­tion.

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