Bay Campus is Buzzing!
Thanks to The Greatest Need Fund the ‘Bay Campus Bees’ group have been able to build and develop a community of beekeepers and bee enthusiasts within the Swansea University community. The group consists of staff and students dedicated to learning the art of beekeeping.
Our 2 beehives are now located in the hedgerow by Engineering East, following a few years of struggle on the roof of the building. The plan was to use the funding to encourage beekeeping activities on the campus within the community. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, we were unable to run our own beekeeping course this year, but we will attempt to do so in the spring. Failing that, any members of the community who wish to learn the basics can attend a local beekeeping course. They will then be able to put their new knowledge into practice with the hives on campus; helping to maintain the bees and look after the 2 colonies.
The funding has so far been used to create an interactive and intelligent platform for the beehives. The dark blue hive is now online and is constantly being monitored for aspects of beekeeping that will help to create interaction amongst the community. The automatic monitoring assesses humidity inside and out, temperature, weight, and an approximation of the number of bees. Only the internal conditions are currently being monitored in the light blue hive, but again the data is available for all to see online.
As time goes on the information should become really interesting, enabling us to see the way the colony is behaving and growing. Any keen members of the community can use a phone app to update the website, downloading the data from the beehives and uploading it onto the cloud for all to see. Both colonies are now being bedded down for winter, and will with luck, reemerge in the spring to grow into honey-producing colonies for next year. Should the current colonies fail to make it through the winter, then new bees will be introduced.
By Charlie Dunnill
If you’re interested in joining the ‘Bay Campus Bees’ group please get in touch with Charlie Dunnill on C.Dunnill@Swansea.ac.uk