Can you tell us about the Beekeeping society and what you do?
Adelie: There are three pillars to the society. The first is raising awareness of bees as a key member of the food chain. We also raise awareness around issues of sustainability, climate change and green space more generally.
The second pillar is education. We’re hoping to organise some talks with alumni involved in successful projects that happen to be sustainable as well. For example, there is a very successful hair company consciously sourcing honey and wax to make hair oil. We’d love to speak to their CEO.
The last pillar is social, creating a network of students who care about sustainability and are interested in bees generally. We currently have just over 50 members and some events we have planned this year include: cheese and artisan honey tasting, honey harvesting, bee tours, honey sales, movie screenings, candle wax making, pizza night, gardening etc.
Can you tell us about the beehives at LSE?
Adelie: We have five beehives on the top of Connaught House at LSE and a professional beekeeper, Barnaby, who looks after them. As members, we get to look after the bees, harvest the honey and learn about beekeeping, not just in terms of the structure of the hive but also how bees work together in different groups and how they all play different roles to help the Queen.
Although they’re such a little insect, the whole food chain relies on them. Bees are also very useful for pollenating flowers, so they’re useful both for animals and vegetation.
Although we learn lots about beekeeping in the society, we’re not professional beekeepers so if you’re worried you must be a beekeeper to join the society, don’t let that put you off! Everyone is welcome.
What happens to the honey harvested at the LSE beehives?
Adelie: We do honey sales for students and staff. We have one coming up on campus, on 9 November. We’re looking forward to organising a competition asking students to design the label to make the honey jars extra special and unique.
We hope this will raise awareness about the bees and draw attention to the project. Trying LSE honey also really sticks with people as it’s something a bit different and unusual.
The proceeds from the sale go towards maintaining the beekeeping equipment and society events.
For people who want to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle, what tips would you give them?
Adelie: The biggest one for me is recycling and knowing where to put your waste. I’ve lived in halls for three years and recycling is not something that’s always respected even though we have several different bins and clear instructions about what to put in them.
Other important things are energy saving, such as turning off the light when you leave a room, or not spending hours in the shower. These are things that don’t change your life very much. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about all the small things you can do that add up to make a difference.
Why do you think events like COP27 are important?
It’s important to show that we are doing something about what’s happening right now with the planet. There’s often a lot of talking but not much action. COP is a way of talking about climate issues and setting specific goals. It helps give visibility, although the tricky part is actually reaching the objectives set.