19th November 2019
Honey Bees are widely known for their multitude of benefits to both health and society.
With the UK bee population in dramatic decline and with sustainability in mind, Piccadilly Place have been keeping two beehives on their rooftop since June 2018.
The first two hives took a year to bed in and flourish and are now a thriving colony with around 80,000 – 90,000 bees in total.
The hives have had a recent renovation with the added green roof providing an extra layer of warmth as well as an excellent water source that the bees collect from the plants.
The intricate hives are carefully created by local carpenter, Mark making the addition of the bees helping Piccadilly Place to support local business.
These inner-city bees pollinate from four primary sources within the city and surrounding area.
The lime trees that line the local streets, as well as brambles, fireweed and Himalayan river blossom found on the river banks close by.
The Himalayan River Blossom is particularly special with beekeepers being known to move their hives closer to areas in which it grows as it gives such flavour to the honey.
Fortunately it is found in close proximity to Piccadilly Place!
From these two hives, 100 jars of the honey have been created and enjoyed by many of the Piccadilly Place tenants. There are now only three jars of this unique product remaining!
Some of the many benefits which have come from these winged tenants are also of fantastic benefit to Manchester City Centre.
The bees pollinate the trees within the city, the pollination increases the tree’s fruit production, which in turn brings birds, butterflies, and other wildlife returning year on year.
The excitement and interest John, the expert beekeeper, and the bees, have brought to the tenants of Piccadilly Place also have further positive outcomes with some attending a brilliant talk all about inner-city bees!
One of the most significant benefits is that 100% of all the money raised from the honey sales (over £1000) has been donated to ‘We Love MCR’ to help fund fantastic charity projects within the city.
One new project called ‘Rising Stars’, assists talented young people who have found themselves in challenging circumstances to fulfil their potential.
The bees have been doing so much good there will be another hive joining the two originals in March 2020 to increase this fantastic green project.
With plans of a live webcam fitted so everyone can keep an eye on them.
Excitingly the honey collecting and jarring will be done on-site next year so tenants will all be welcome to get involved in the process.
More updates coming soon!