UK conservation agency launches plastic beehive

Aug 05, 2009
Johannes Paul holds a frame covered in bees taken from a "Beehaus" urban beehive at a garden allotment in central London. The new plastic beehive was launched to encourage people to keep bees in their gardens or on rooftoops to help boost declining honeybee populations.

A new plastic beehive was launched in Britain on Wednesday to encourage people to keep bees in their gardens or on rooftoops to help boost declining honeybee populations.

The seemed to like their ultra-modern home as they buzzed happily in and out of the postbox-like slot in the grey and yellow 'beehaus' on the roof of state-backed agency Natural England's London offices.

The agency's chief scientist Tom Tew said if more urban residents kept honeybees, it would increase the insects' numbers and make them more resilient to attacks from disease and pests which threaten their survival.

"We need to recognise that if we want plants to flourish, we need healthy populations of insects to sustain them," Tew said.

"There's no reason why our towns and cities should exist as wildlife deserts -- wildlife can thrive when we design our urban areas with nature in mind and the 'beehaus' is a great example of how easy it is for anyone to bring the natural world closer to their doorstep."

Its makers Omlet claim that at one metre wide and 0.5 metres high (three feet wide and one foot eight inches high), the 'beehaus' is twice as big as a traditional , giving plenty of room for the colony to grow in comfort.

The kit can be bought online starting from 495 pounds.

The number of honeybees in Britain has dropped by up to 15 percent in the past two years, according to government figures, as they face a growing range of diseases and wild flowers they feed on are wiped out by urban development.

(c) 2009 AFP

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User comments : 5

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DGBEACH
not rated yet Aug 05, 2009
And...you get some amazing (and free) honey, what a bargain!
MenaceSan
not rated yet Aug 05, 2009
Price is a bit high for real adoption i think. 100 pounds might be more reasonable.
Meph
3 / 5 (2) Aug 05, 2009
The price is far beyond realistic, one could build your own bee box for about 1/10 of that.
THEY
2.5 / 5 (2) Aug 05, 2009
Great idea! But are they maintenance free? People will not buy it if they get stung taking care of the bees. Too many people are afraid of bees.

Also, not using insecticides will help the bee population, too....
Megadeth312
2.3 / 5 (3) Aug 05, 2009
if anyone really thinks the general public wants bee hives in their back yards, or even in their neighbors yard, they must be insane.

The reason we don't have bee populations in densly populated areas is very simple, bees sting. People don't want them around, this is why we have pest control. Fail.