As part of Aberdeen Inspired’s ongoing civic pride campaign and to highlight the importance of pollinators to environmental health of businesses, honeybees were introduced to the city centre in June 2018. The Urban Bees project hopes to encourage businesses to engage in environmental issues, to improve understanding and to inspire positive action. Introducing urban bees and beehives to the heart of the city has re-encouraged our local businesses and volunteers to engage further with biodiversity and work effectively towards improving the spaces we live and work in.

As Aberdeen Inspired strives towards driving the city forward, we endeavour to continue to introduce innovative and significant projects that will see our city centre become one of the most inclusive urban areas in the country. There is two hives situated within the Business Improvement District, one of which is located at His Majesty’s Theatre, which can be viewed through the window of their 1906 restaurant and the other is situated at an undisclosed location on George Street.

The city centre bee team underwent training with Aberdeen and District Bee Keeping Association and is made up of two service users from Alcohol and Drugs Action (ADA), who work alongside Angela Joss, Community & Environment Co-ordinator from Aberdeen Inspired. As well as having a positive effect on the city centre environment, urban bees also provide a therapeutic benefit for service users of various social inclusion groups, including Alcohol & Drugs Action.

Both participants through regular attendance of Alcohol & Drugs Action’s weekly gardening group were keen to build on their enjoyment and contribution to the group by enhancing their knowledge and experience. This has had a significant impact for the individuals in both in terms of growing their confidence through developing desirable new skills, as well as demonstrating recovery community support and commitment to such an environmentally friendly and important project as Urban Bees. . This year we aim to increase the amount of volunteers trained in beekeeping skills, as well as the amount of hives we tend.