Sustainability: Bees

Bee keeping at LCF is part of our Better Lives campaign, which aims to use fashion as a discipline to drive change and build a sustainable future.

Placing a hive in an urban area has great benefits for both the residents and the bees. Without a healthy honeybee population pollinating our crops, our lives would change dramatically.

Bees pollinate around one third of the crops we eat, and their populations have been declining in recent decades. By providing them with a home, we are helping to support their population.

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Bee keeping at Lime Grove. Image via stills from a film by Victoria Burns

A bee hive was first introduced to the John Prince’s Street roof terrace in 2010, and now there are also thriving hives at Curtain Road, Mare Street and Lime Grove. A variety of native plants have been introduced at each site to provide foraging areas for the bees.

Students have been putting the bee’s honey to good use too. Last year, the LCF Beekeeping club hosted toast and honey mornings, sharing the honey produced by the hives with students and staff.

Back in October, LCF students and staff were invited to Lime Grove to sample a selection of cocktails made with the honey harvested from bees at the John Princes Street and Lime Grove sites.

See here for the delicious recipes: http://blogs.arts.ac.uk/fashion/2014/10/27/cocktails-lcfs-honey-harvest/

BSc Cosmetic Science students have also used beeswax harvested from the John Prince’s Street hives to formulate a lip balm.

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Image via Jackie Puwalski MA Fashion Photography 2014

Finally, from a very different perspective, Jackie Puwalski, MA Fashion Photography, was inspired by the urban bees to create an intriguing Masters project that encourages us to think about how our impact on the environment will shape the future.

The LCF Fashion Honey is available to buy through the e-store, with profits going back into sustainable projects at LCF.

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Image via LCF News Blog

Although bee numbers have plummeted recently, with much of Britain’s grasslands destroyed to make way for one-crop fields, and the widespread introduction of pesticides, urban aviaries are a manageable step more of us can take to help shape ‘Better Lives’ for the future.

 

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