The University has worked with Ealing beekeepers http://www.ealingbees.org.uk/ and the London Beekeepers Association http://www.lbka.org.uk/ to create a small apiary within the sports ground at Chiswick. We are hoping to have a number of colonies of bees here this summer. The plight of bees has been well documented recently because bees are an important part of the ecosystem along with being essential in both domestic and industrial fruit and vegetable production, Over 35% of all food consumed in the UK is reliant on the pollination work of the honey bee (apis mellifera). Amateur and professional beekeeping have become important in the pollination of crops from oilseed and apples to courgettes and cucumbers in fields and allotments due to serious decline in wild colonies.
This photograph was captured during the spring when the floral border is at its best. If you look closely you can see that the bee is heavily laden with pollen. Image courtesy of Tom Duckett