When we first heard about the Sustainable Projects Fund (SPF) at LSE, it seemed like an incredible opportunity to put into practice our craziest and most ambitious ideas. Grants were open to application from any member of the LSE community as long as their proposals promoted sustainability on campus. The fund was created with revenue from a 10% Water Bottle Tax at all LSE catering venues (so to all of you out there who buy bottled water on campus, thanks, you made this happen! But go here to see why bottled water is bad). After two years, the pennies added up and the money could now go towards projects that would promote sustainability on campus. As third-year Environmental Policy students, our imaginations ran wild with potential plans to make LSE a more sustainable place.
After deciding definitively that it might still be a while before LSE starts brewing its own Eco-friendly beer, the idea of setting bee hives on campus was shaped with two goals in mind.
Firstly, our project had to be both environmentally friendly and enjoyable. If we wanted students and the community to be interested and get involved, it needed to present sustainability as something exciting rather than constraining. A social component was also essential- it would be something that people could do as part of a team regardless of age, degree or generation.
Most importantly, bees are awesome- of the 100 crop species that provide 90 per cent of the world’s food, over 70 are pollinated by bees. They are extremely important to our environment and incredibly smart and beautiful animals. Unfortunately, an observed decline in the number of colonies is occurring world wide, to the point that UNEP has published several reports and warning of the grave human and economic consequences resulting from declining populations. To us, this project is also a way to raise awareness about this alarming issue and we hope our bees can contribute in their small way to making London a better place. Bees emphasize the fact that we are ultimately dependent on nature’s services, in a world of now seven billion people.
Both of us are really thankful to the SPF and looking forward to writing this blog about our journey with bees at LSE.
Keep in touch if you want to hear more!
Julia Hug and Elisa Vieira