Maintaining bee hives are currently at the centre of our efforts to enhance the biodiversity across the Bloomsbury colleges. The SOAS Beekeeping Project has established two beehives and a roof-garden on the main university building, while Birkbeck is also placing two beehives on the new Stratford building in collaboration with the University of East London.
Over a third of all fruit and veg wouldn't exist without bees, yet main agricultural practises are dramatically damaging their populations. Overproduction, pesticides and widespread monoculture have caused a marked increase in pests and diseases that affect bees. Colony collapse is now a widespread phenomenon posing a serious risk to food production.
Our Beekeeping Projects will give people an opportunity to learn more about them, whether that is a one-off visit to the hives to see the bees in action or more extensive training in practical beekeeping. We also plan to harvest the honey, wax and pollen so that people can have a go at making a range of bee-related products from health and beauty items to sweet new recipes.
A hidden gem among the hustle and bustle of central London - the not-so-secret Japanese Garden located on the roof of the Brunei Gallery at SOAS. Officially opening in 2001 by honorary fellow of the school, Mr Haruhisa Handa, the garden provides a relaxed space to enjoy the surrounding greenery.
Whilst we are lucky to be located near numerous gardens and squares in Bloomsbury (see below), we understand the environmental, social, and economic value of continuing to preserve our existing green spaces, and endeavour to incorporate green infrastructure techniques, where practically and feasibly possible, during refurbishments and new buildings.
The Birkbeck, SOAS, and LSHTM Bloomsbury buildings are ideally situated among numerous public squares and gardens. With increasing air and noise pollution, and the challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss, now more than ever our urban green spaces are vitally important to both environmental and social well being.
For more information and upcoming events in these areas, visit the Bloomsbury Squares and Gardens Website.