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BusinessCity Tower unveils apiary to support bee pollination across Manchester

City Tower unveils apiary to support bee pollination across Manchester

An apiary of four beehives comprising around 320,000 bees has been launched at City Tower.

Situated on the second floor, the installation sits against the backdrop of a mural created by Mustard Tree volunteer, Graham Hudson. Designed with 22 bees – one for each victim of the Manchester Arena Attack – the creation also depicts the wildflowers situated within the apiary’s planters.

Graham, a former offender, was homeless for three years and was referred to Mustard Tree from a hostel. Born into a family where criminality was the norm, Graham was incarcerated for the first time at 16 for vehicle theft and has served around 12 years in jail, which is where he taught himself to paint.

City Tower has been supporting Mustard Tree for more than five years and the apiary was the brainchild of building management company, MAPP and asset manager Schroders Capital.

A month prior to the apiary installation, the space was monitored for a month to review the variety and regularity of insect visitors. This informed the type and location for the wildflowers, which were planted by City Tower tenants.

Cultural identity

The bees were homed by John Beavan from Nurture Landscapes who has managed beehives for more than 23 years. He said: “Worker bees are part of Manchester’s cultural identity and they are very lucky that the city has a diverse and vast supply of forage and trees along major transport routes and within green spaces.

“A number of new pollinator-friendly installations, such as this one at City Tower, are exactly what bees need to survive and thrive and there aren’t many companies that go to the lengths that the building owners and managers have in order to support the colony on an ongoing basis.”

Sustainability and biodiversity

Rob Prescott, asset manager at Schroders Capital’s real estate team, added: “We are committed to sustainability & biodiversity and this project forms part of a broader occupier engagement strategy which aims to promote environmental responsibility across our assets.

“In addition to promoting biodiversity, we are also committed to engaging our occupiers in this important initiative. We plan to host workshops and events to enable people to get involved with hive maintenance and honey collection.

“We are committed to taking small but impactful steps towards a more sustainable future and believe that this project is a great example of how we can work together to make a difference.”

The apiary, derived from the Latin words for bee (apis) and place of (arium) – translated directly as ‘place of bees’, was launched by four lucky tenants who won a competition to name each of the queen bees, resulting in Beeyonce, Emmeline, Winnie and Lilibet.

Perfect infrastructure for honey bees

John added: “Whilst there’s been some recent negative press about the volume of beehives in London, Manchester has the ideal infrastructure to support honey bees.

“Rather than just ‘shove some beehives on a roof,’ we’ve worked very closely with Schroders Capital and Mapp over a long period of time in order to provide the ideal housing and associated infrastructure that, not just honey bees, but also bumble bees, butterflies and moths need.

“City Tower has truly embraced protection of all pollinator visitors and has introduced a number of practical measures for ongoing support and tenant engagement.”

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