Bee garden creating a real buzz in city’s business district

The first rooftop bee garden in Birmingham’s Colmore Business District is creating a real buzz among city workers and visitors to the area.

The Colmore Bee Garden has been installed on the rooftop meadow at 2 Colmore Square by Colmore Business Improvement District (BID) in partnership with Urban Buzz, a project at Buglife – The Invertebrate Conservation Trust, with the support of the Colmore Square management team.

The garden consists of three hexagonal honeycomb planters containing plants that offer a diverse range of pollen and nectar throughout the season.

Bees are vitally important to the Earth’s eco system and bee gardens in cities provide essential foraging opportunities for hungry pollinators. In urban environments bees have few opportunities to feed, but many species of bee must feed every 40 minutes in order to survive.

Similar projects have proven to be successful in places such as New York, with some firms even marketing the honey produced from rooftop hives.

Urban Buzz is a new project using innovative techniques to create eight ‘Buzzing Cities’ in England and Wales for pollinators by transforming mown and unused urban sites into 200 hectares of rich and vibrant habitat for pollinating insects.

The project will engage with 80,000 people in the various Buzzing Hotspots to identify how successful the scheme is.

It is expected a wide variety of bees will benefit from the Colmore Bee Garden, from bumblebees in March through to solitary bees in late spring and honeybees feeding as a pit stop on their journey through the city.

Henry Tonks, strategic advisor, Colmore BID, said: “Colmore BID is keen for businesses to participate in the bee garden project as it grows. The BID has also started to investigate a range of urban greening initiatives and is encouraging district based-businesses to get involved.”