South East Wales

Cardiff University bid to be 'bee-friendly' campus

Students outside the Redwood Building Cardiff and a bee Image copyright Thinkstock/Cardiff University

Cardiff University has launched a campaign to become one of the UK's first bee-friendly campuses.

The School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals has several research projects on bees - including one using honey to find plant-derived drugs.

It has teamed up with charity Buglife to plant pollen-rich flowers around its Redwood Building.

Dr James Blaxland said it would "increase awareness of the plight of bees".

Cardiff University has three bee hives on the roof of the building, with more set to be installed at some of its other sites.

Dr Blaxland, fellow members of the school, research group Pollen8 Cymru and students have planted a mixture of wildflowers, including dandelions, and bulbs at the site.

"It increases people's awareness of the plight of bees, which are losing areas where they can forage from," he said.

Image copyright Cardiff University

"It also increases people's knowledge of where honey comes from and also the research that we are doing at the school."

One of Cardiff University's various bee projects has uncovered a Welsh honey with as much antibacterial potency as New Zealand's manuka honey.

Buglife is working to turn gardens, parks and unused urban sites in Cardiff into "rich and vibrant habitats" for pollinators, such as bees, beetles, wasps and butterflies.

Michelle Bales, of the charity, said: "Pollinators are in massive decline at the moment, mainly due to habitat loss, pesticides and things like that, and cities are actually good foraging for them."

She added: "It's a really nice link together - by increasing the plantings around the university, it's not only good for their studies but also it will increase the habitat for wild pollinators in the city."

Image copyright Cardiff University
Image caption Prof Les Baillie is joined by students, the Pollen8 group and charity Buglife for the planting

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