The MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine is now home to a colony of honey bees, with a new apiary established on the building’s roof.
The project has been spearheaded by CRM’s resident beekeeper and scientist, Andrea Corsinotti. Having been inspired after helping out at other University apiaries, he undertook a beekeeping course which would allow him to establish his own at the Centre.
The colony is formed of approximately 15,000 bees, at the heart of which sits the queen bee – affectionately named Queen Aquaria by Andrea. Over the next couple of months, it is hoped that the colony will thrive and grow, watched and supported by Andrea and other members of staff keen to get involved. The rooftop provides an ideal location, surrounded by plenty of foliage within the bees’ 3 mile foraging radius.
“Bees share many conceptual similarities with stem cells: for example, genetically identical eggs can turn into worker or queen bees based on the environmental stimuli they receive.
“It is also our responsibility to support in any possible way these insects that play such an important role in the ecosystem to which we also belong. I am very thankful for the support of the CRM and other university beekeepers to this project, and I am looking forward to expanding our apiary.”
Bees are the world’s most important pollinator and are vital for stable, healthy food supplies. It is estimated that one third of the food we consume each day relies on pollination. However, many bee species are currently in decline as a result of bee-killing pesticides and destruction of habitats.
By providing a safe space for bees to live and forage, CRM is aiming to create a more sustainable and socially responsible environment. The new rooftop apiary will be a cornerstone of our application for a Gold Sustainability Award.