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There’s a big buzz coming to the Botanic Garden

Press release issued: 31 August 2011

There has been a dramatic decline in bee and pollinator populations in recent years. A festival this weekend [3 and 4 September] aims to highlight the maintenance of healthy ecosystems and the importance of bees and other pollinators for food production.

The Bristol Honey Festival combined with the National Gardens Scheme Open Day will take place at the University of Bristol’s Botanic Garden at The Holmes, Stoke Bishop, Bristol, on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 September 2011. 

The event will feature research by the University’s School of Biological Sciences into the current alarming decline in bee and pollinator numbers and what is being done to better understand the reasons for the decline and how it can be reversed.  

The Avon Bee Keeping Association will stage their annual Bristol Honey Festival, with displays of honey and bee products. A live hive will give visitors an insight into the workings of the honey-bee along with talks and displays on the importance and pleasure of keeping bees.

Exhibits by local cider apple producers and the Gloucestershire Orchard Group will highlight the value of bees in the production of fruit crops and Butcombe Brewery will be offering tastings of their range of beers.

Nick Wray, Curator at the Botanic Garden, said: “The weekend will include lots of interactive events and displays.  Orchids will feature prominently because their flowers are the most highly adapted to specific pollinators and there will be some fascinating orchid examples”.

“The festival is a great opportunity for members of the public to see what bees and pollinators do for us.”

Orchid enthusiasts, including Writhlington School Orchid Project, will show the relationship between pollinators and flowers in a display of orchids.  Local nurseries will be selling a wide range of plants aimed at providing nectar for bees and habitats for wildlife.

A display of work by a local stitched textile group will demonstrate work by students, some of which has been inspired by the garden.

Free tours will be offered throughout the weekend giving visitors the chance to see and learn something new about the garden which will be ablaze with September colour, including many autumn flowering salvias, anemones, grasses, toad lilies and hardy bromeliads.

Entrance to the Botanic Garden and the Bristol Honey Festival is £4.50 for adults; children under 16 free.


Further information

The annual Bristol Honey Festival combined with the National Gardens Scheme Open Day will be held on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 September 2011 from 10am to 4.30pm at the University of Bristol Botanic Garden, The Holmes, Stoke Park Road, Bristol BS9 1JB.

Entry to the Botanic Garden and Bristol Honey Festival is £4.50 for adults; free to children under 16.

Other exhibitors include:

  • Cleeve Nursery will be selling a range of bee friendly plants.
  • Pennard Plants will be selling a range of late summer early autumn interest plants.
  • Derry Watkins Special Plants will be selling specialist plants carefully chosen by this well-known local nursery.
  • Wiggly Wigglers will demonstrate their passion for worm composting and show you how to make your very own British flower bouquet.
  • Bees for Development will highlight their global work in support of beekeepers.
  • Bee Guardian Foundation including talks by Dr Adam Hart who will highlight what gardeners can do to improve habitats for bees.
  • Kelvin Bush Orchids will showcase arrangments of beautiful tropical orchids.
  • Bristol Naturalists will highlight their work of recording, monitoring and promoting local biodiversity.
  • Willa Ashworth sculpture will display her creative, original, garden metalwork, including plant supports, fire dishes and bird feeders.

Directions to The Holmes

From the city centre go to the top of Whiteladies Road, at the junction and traffic lights go straight ahead across Durdham Down towards Stoke Bishop. At the traffic lights go straight ahead and take the first turning on the right into Stoke Park Road, The Holmes is 150m on the right.

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