As you might know, I’ve left the world of recycling behind (for the mo anyway) and am looking at the environment with a wider lense as part of the Birmingham Recycled investigative team.
So what am I looking into first? Well Jade and I will be concentrating on bee conservation in the Midlands, following on from several Birmingham Recycled articles on this issue. We also received a tweet from @superGM:
@BhamRecycled Not allowed to keep bees on our allotment though. Grumble, grumble, BCC grumble.
So we’re looking at whether Birmingham City Council do prevent bees being kept in Birmingham, if so why and what impact this will have on projects like the OPAL project.
Anyway, I’ve started scouting a few allotment websites in Birmingham to see if there’s any info about bee conservation. I found the Birmingham and District Allotments Council and sent a message via their website:
I’m looking into bee conservation and the project on ‘bee hotels’ that Dr Adam Bates has been involved with. I was recently informed by someone that Birmingham City Council will not allow bees to be kept on allotments in Birmingham and wondered whether this is true or not?
I am looking to approach the council anyway, but thought you’d be the best place to start. Please do contact me if you have any information on allotment policies and if bee-keeping is in fact allowed.
To which, Lisa Nelder of Walkers Heath Allotments emailed me:
Unfortunately, according to Birmingham Council rules, beehives are not allowed on allotment sites. I think the health and safety and PL risks are too high for the council to allow them on sites. If we can be of more help, please contact me.
Incidentally, Dr Adam Bates will be sending me some files so that I can upload more information on his project on our website. As a site secretary myself, I totally support his project, even allowing a hotel on my own plot.
So it seems that Birmingham City Council definitely don’t allow bee hives on their allotment plots so I’ll be contacting them to find out why (although my thoughts are that it’s a health and safety issue). Having already checked the website, there’s no mention of it, just several policies that talk about sustainability/biodiversity, nature conservation and development and people and nature.
I’m interested to know their reasons for this decision and how they propose to support nature conservation in Birmingham if they don’t support important projects like the OPAL Open Air Laboratories bee hotels and allow allotments holders to do so.