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Bringing the buzz back to gardens and rooftops
Natural England
Wednesday 05 Aug 2009 @ 10:52
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Omlet and Natural England introduce the new ‘Beehaus’ urban beehive

  • Omlet, makers of the world famous Eglu chicken house, launch new beehive
  • Natural England puts the first hive off the production line on the roof of its London offices
  • City gardens and urban green spaces have critical role to play in the race to save the country’s bee populations

A new, contemporary beehive for the urban beekeeper, launched today (Wednesday 5 August) by Omlet with support from Natural England, will make it easy for anyone - from amateurs to seasoned apiarists - to help bees find a home in urban gardens up and down the country.

The strikingly designed hive - called the ‘Beehaus’ - is developed with the help of leading beekeepers to be a 21st century home for bees and has urban spaces very much in mind. Beehaus has twice the room of a traditional hive (measuring about 1m wide and 0.5m high) and with plenty of space for the colony to grow, the likelihood of the bees swarming is greatly reduced. Bees will travel up to 3 miles to collect nectar, so even the most unpromising gardens can still support viable colonies and produce their own honey. With proper care and access to local sources of nectar it's quite possible to collect over 20kg of honey from a Beehaus hive in a good year.

Omlet co-founder James Tuthill said “Bees provide a wonderful service pollinating plants and providing us with honey. The BeehausTM is a brilliant new way to keep bees in a garden or even on a rooftop. Its new design simplifies the principles of beekeeping so that anyone can enjoy this fascinating hobby. With the help of urban gardeners, bees can have access to a wonderfully diverse source of plants, resulting in fantastic flavorsome honey.”

The first Beehaus will be installed on Natural England’s office roof in Victoria, London, overlooking Westminster Cathedral. Dr Tom Tew, Chief Scientist for Natural England, said: “Bees provide us with honey but also play a vital role in pollinating plants - from farmland crops to trees, flowers and garden vegetables – bringing critical benefits to people and to the natural environment. We need to recognise that, if we want plants to flourish, we need healthy populations of insects to sustain them.

“There is no reason why our towns and cities should exist as wildlife deserts - wildlife can thrive when we design our urban areas with nature in mind and the Beehaus is a great example of how easy it is for anyone to bring the natural world closer to their doorstep.”

-Ends-

Notes to editors:

For further information and hi-res pictures of the Beehaus, contact Johannes Paul at Omlet on: 01295 750 052, 07973 623121 or at Johannes@omlet.co.uk. For more information about Omlet and the BeehausTM visit www.omlet.co.uk

For further information and interviews on the race to halt the decline of urban wildlife, call the Natural England National Press Office on 0845 603 9953; press@naturalengland.org.uk, for out of hours call 07970 098005. For further information about Natural England, visit the website at www.naturalengland.org.uk

Beehaus
Bees make honey from the nectar that they collect from flowers. They fly up to 3 miles from the hive and when there is a good flow the bees will need extra storage space The Beehaus has twice the room of a traditional hive; with plenty of space for the colony to grow the likelihood of the bees swarming is greatly reduced. It comes with four honey boxes; each can store up to 7kg of honey at a time.

The Beehaus comes with legs to keep the bees out of the coldest air in winter when they are hibernating; the legs raise the hive to a comfortable height for the beekeeper, which makes inspecting the hive much easier. It has a mesh floor that provides year round ventilation helping the bees to maintain a hygienic home; the mesh floor assists the beekeeper in controlling the varroa mite by allowing fallen mite to drop away from the hive.

The Beehaus is 1m long, 0.9m high and 0.5m wide. The complete BeehausTM kit is available to order from £495 online at www.omlet.co.uk or by calling 0845 450 2056 with a beginner’s guide and 30-day money back guarantee.

Omlet
Omlet launched the world famous Eglu chicken house in 2004 sparking a new wave of urban chicken keeping. Working together with expert beekeepers Omlet's four founders have developed the Beehaus a revolutionary beehive designed to make keeping bees accessible to anyone with a garden or rooftop. Omlet creates products with a purpose; the four founders - Johannes, William, James and Simon - passionately believe that everyone should be able to experience the delight of spreading honey on toast from their own bees.

Omlet recommends joining your local beekeeping association. It's time to give bees back their buzz www.omlet.co.uk

Natural England
Natural England works for people, places and nature to conserve and enhance biodiversity, landscapes and wildlife in rural, urban, coastal and marine areas. We conserve and enhance the natural environment for its intrinsic value, the wellbeing and enjoyment of people, and the economic prosperity it brings www.naturalengland.org.uk

International rescue for endangered bumblebee
A project to re-introduce the short-haired bumblebee to England was announced today in June by Natural England, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BBCT), RSPB and Hymettus.

The short-haired bumblebee became extinct in England in 2000, but for over a century a small number of the original English population has clung on in New Zealand, having been transported there in the late nineteenth to pollinate crops of red clover. The bees were shipped aboard the first refrigerated lamb boats, and established small populations the south island of New Zealand, but there they remain unprotected and under threat.

The international rescue mission has two aims – to restore habitat in England, thereby giving existing bees a boost; and to bring the short-haired bumblebee home where it can be protected. The project hinges on the creation of healthy bumblebee habitat with the help of farmers in South East England, many of whom are already taking part in schemes to support the pollinating powers of bumblebees. For more information see www.naturalengland.org.uk

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