Botanic Garden the place to bee this weekend
Press release issued: 21 August 2023
Come and find out about the vital role pollinators play in our lives and other pollinators you may find in your garden at the University of Bristol Botanic Garden this weekend.
Over the weekend there will be short talks by researchers, conservationists and beekeepers. Headline speaker, Miranda Bane from Glasgow University has been working with Botanic Garden Director and Professor of Ecology, Jane Memmott, and her team.
Dr Miranda Bane will discuss her research project to help the community of Guernsey move away from using pesticides and the effect it has had on nature. This bold project is the first island community to ban pesticides to improve the environment for biodiversity. Originally from Guernsey, Miranda persuaded landowners, the public and the local authority to move away from pesticides and employ more sustainable methods of controlling weeds and pest and diseases. This has helped increase insect communities, increase biodiversity, improving the food chain for wildlife and humans.
Monica Barlow from charity Bees for Development will discuss how conserving bees and making the beekeepers' work economically viable can help conserve natural habitats for some of the world's poorest communities. Chris Morton will give an illustrated talk about other pollinators in his garden. Finally, a member of the Bristol Beekeepers will introduce beekeeping with his talk 'Getting started with bees'.
Nick Wray, Curator of the Botanic Garden, said: "The importance of insects as pollinators in maintaining healthy ecosystems and agricultural systems is well understood. Insects alarming population decline affects us all and is the subject of pioneering research and changes in land management, which is helping to improve habitats for all insects.
"This year's Bee and Pollination Festival brings together science and research with natural history and beekeepers to provide a stimulating event for everyone, together with exhibits and live demonstrations, workshops and children’s trails. What’s good for pollinators is often good for people’s wellbeing too – flowers, interesting people to engage with, lots of plants and a beautiful garden – so come along and enjoy the festival!"
Bristol Beekeepers will be back for their 93rd annual Honey Festival. There will be demonstrations of the workings of a live hive, and live flight displays. Two beekeepers, dressed in their protective white suits, will dismantle a hive and explain all the aspects of how bees live and work. There will also be exhibits of honey, wax and bee products, including the opportunity to try and buy many products.
Highlights during the festival:
- Learn about the University of Bristol Cider apple project and see apples from their Goldney Hall heritage orchard.
- Street performer Carol Sherman with Afro Leana, will greet visitors as her character tours the garden on Saturday.
- Bee related poetry performed by The IsamBards poetry quartet.
- Willow weaving demonstrations by Maya Wolf, with visitors able to have a go at some simple structures to take home.
- Jean Vernon, who contributes to The Daily Telegraph and gardening magazines, will lead bee 'safari' walks throughout the weekend.
Other displays include Heart of BS13, a community space in Hartcliffe to improve the environment and tackle food insecurity; Grow Wilder inspires people, communities, and businesses to take action for wildlife; Bumblebee Conservation Trust will show how they are working to protect 55 native species.; Avon Organic Group will give advice on growing food more sustainably; Writhlington School Orchid Project will display subtropical orchids each with a unique pollination story and talk about their propagation and conservation work and students and researchers from the University’s School of Biological Sciences will share some of their latest studies into insect behaviour and understanding of their ecology.
Many plant nurseries will be at the festival, with expert advice from the growers or bee friendly garden goods available to buy, along with refreshments from Chandos Deli.
Admission: £10 (or £11 with gift aid donation); free to under 18s, Friends of the Garden, University of Bristol staff, retired staff and alumni and ALL students, carers of visitors.
About the University of Bristol Botanic Garden
The Botanic Garden has a strong evolutionary theme and cultivates over 5,000 plant species forming four core collections that illustrate plant evolution, plants from Mediterranean climates, useful plants (including Chinese and Western herb gardens) and rare and threatened native plants to the Bristol area.
Star attractions include an amazing dell demonstrating the evolution of land plants including the dinosaurs' favourite plants: ginkgos, cycads, tree ferns, monkey puzzles and the Wollemi Pine. Other delights include glasshouses, home to giant Amazon water lilies, tropical fruit and medicinal plants, orchids, cacti and a unique sacred lotus collection.
Normal admission and opening times
The Botanic Garden is open from 10 am until 4.30 pm until November.
Admission outside of festivals is £9 ( or £9.90 with Gift Aid), except on WEDNESDAY, which is a DAISY day; free to University alumni, staff and retired staff, carers of visitors, Friends of the Botanic Garden, All students and children under 18.
Dogs (except registered disability assistance dogs) are not permitted in the Botanic Garden.
The Botanic Garden is accessible for wheelchairs and mobility scooters with a designated path leading around the garden and glasshouses. Disabled toilet facilities are available on site and a wheelchair is available upon request from the Welcome Lodge.
Pre-booked guided tours of the Botanic Garden for groups of ten upwards are available seven days a week. Please contact the garden for further information. Outside of festival days there is a charge for the guide of £12 per person.
Directions to the Botanic Garden
From the city centre go to the top of Whiteladies Road, at the junction and traffic lights go straight ahead across Durdham Down towards Stoke Bishop. At the traffic lights go straight ahead and take the first turning on the right into Stoke Park Road, the Botanic Garden at The Holmes is 150 metres on the right.
Members of the public wishing to support the work of the Botanic Garden should join the Friends of the Garden. For more information go to the Friends of the Botanic Garden or contact Sue Beech, The Membership Secretary, email firstname.lastname@example.org