Sometimes the survival of the smallest holds the key to so much more. As it is with bees. A third of the food we eat is the result of what starts with the pollination process. In simple terms, when bees suffer there is less food for us big folk to enjoy. That is a fact. As to why bee populations the world over are suffering catastrophic colony decline… well, that is less thoroughly understood. However, pesticides and industrial-scale farming practices are currently believed to play a significant role.
In 2019, Arundel resident, and beekeeper, Nick Field started a community drive to bring together residents with a shared love of bees and nature.
There are concrete plans for a community apiary (a collection of beehives) next to Herrington’s Field orchard and bee-friendly flowers on both A27 roundabouts and the verges that run between them.
1/ At its heart, this is a community drive to unite residents with a love of nature who have ideas to help bees and other pollinators.
During the Love Arundel project, Arundel residents shared their passion for greening Arundel. The Arundel Bee Project will cover all planting projects in town.
“There has been enough division locally and nationally over the past few years,” explains Nick Field, from The Arundel Bee Project. “Let’s join together to create something new and different. That’s surely got to be a good thing?”
2/ To save bees. This sounds like a huge task. Because it is. However as with every successful project, this starts: one hive and one bee-friendly plant at a time.
The Arundel Bee Project is working to create a Pollinators’ Garden on the land opposite the Arundel Museum (where the old public toilet block once stood). The Arundel Bee Project has also harnessed local, regional and national support (see boxout) and funding. It is now up to us, Arundel residents, to make it happen.
What can you plant in your garden that will keep bee visitors happy? Have you got space for a hive? Would you like to become a fully-fledged beekeeper? Do you have ideas for bee-friendly events, talks, workshops, bee art or even a market of bee-related products? Or, are you able to share news from The Arundel Bee Project’s Facebook page with your friends?
Becoming bee-friendly in any way will help. However small your involvement, the shared effect can be mighty.
3/ This standard-setting community project will help to secure a future for bees. It may also put Arundel on the map.
“Our aim is for Arundel to be declared, ‘The UK’s first bee-friendly town’,” says Nick Field. “This title would be awarded by The Bee Friendly Trust, and to achieve it, Arundel will need to create a number of mini projects that will all sit under The Arundel Bee Project title.”
“DEFRA have shown a great deal of interest in the concept of Bee Friendly towns. If this is a success, it could be launched throughout the UK in future years. However, Arundel would always be the first one.”