Feeding The Bees

Love your urban pollinators!

1 Apr 2015

Food from 18:30 / Talks from 20:00. We all benefit from bees, but what can we do in return? How can we make Amsterdam a bee-friendly city? Thanks to extensive collaboration between city planners, gardeners, beekeepers and the local government there has been already a 20 % increase in wild bee species within the city of Amsterdam. Yet, there is still a lot of room for improvement. During this evening we will explore the possibilities to make the Dijksgracht area a new bee-friendly zone.


Beekeeping in the city -

Start loving your urban pollinators. This evening is about the new developments of the Dijksgracht area as bee-friendly zone, how to practice urban beekeeping and how to create awareness around the threatened wild bee. With talks by:

Geert Van Kerckhove about natural beekeeping in Amsterdam

Did you know that bees will fly 3 to 6 km from their hive to find the food they need? And that they pollinate 1/3 or more of all the foods our city farmers grow? Geert van Kerckhove from Wellbeeing.org aims to stimulate the well-being of bees and people as they shape each others environment and food availability. The foundation spreads seeds, organises lectures, workshops and beekeeping training but also advises other parties on how to make their surroundings bee-friendly through providing the bees with a diverse and continuous food offer with melliferous plans that provide nectar and pollen. In his talk he will explain how green innovating cities can potentially be good environments for bees.


Natural city beekeeper Geert showing bees on natural comb - Geert van Kerckhove van WellBeeing.org. Gevonden via deze website

AnneMarie van Splunter about the Buzzbench

The Buzzbench is a sculptural bee-biotope that doubles as a bench. The bench is based on geometrical shapes of flower petals and made out of local bamboo and canes that are sandwiched between ecological MDF wood. Funded by a crowd funding campaign, artist AnneMarie van Splunter is now working on the installation of the bench in Amsterdam Amstelpark in may 2015.


Buzzbench - Buzzbench by AnneMarie van Splunter that will be installed may 2015

Environmental bee policy with Florinda Nieuwenhuis from the city of Amsterdam.

Florinda Nieuwenhuis advices the Municipality of Amsterdam on their environmental policies and is involved in the project Bijen in Zuid. By actively engaging the community and local government the project strives to improve the habitat of bees in the south of Amsterdam. And it works! Tonight she will elaborate on the research of the wild bees in 'Zuid' and how governments can contribute to the well being of bees.


Detail of the wild bee map of Amsterdam - How are the wild bees doing in Amsterdam Gemeente Amsterdam

Jane Huldman about De Honingbank

The Honey Bank is an art project that was designed by the French art collective Parti Poétique (‘Poetic Party ') and was developed in collaboration with Stroom Den Haag. The project provided a tool to save bees: the Bee Savings Account. By opening a Bee Savings Account, or by becoming a Bee Ambassador, people became part of the art project and the new movement it initiates. The money from the members of the Bank was invested in bee hives and the work of beekeepers, which converts back into bees and pollination of trees and plants.


Time is honey - A tool to save bees: the Bee Savings Account from De Honing Bank.

Sepp Buys and Matthias van den Berg and their bee-friendly edible flowers

Feed the bees and you'll feed yourself! But did you know that a lot of flowers are also edible for us humans? Sepp Buys and Matthias Van De Berg are gardeners with a bee-loving heart. They are involved in GreenNest Gallery and will introduce you to the different flavours of edible flowers.


Round beehive entrance - Bees around the entrance of their hive.


Urban Beekeeping
Wednesday April 1
Talks at 20:00
Food at 18.30 (we have some lovely Texel's Lamb, Artischoke and Wild Garlic served with Niemeijers' Batard Bread)
Mediamatic Biotoop, Dijksgracht 6, Amsterdam
Tickets: €8,50 (including Mediamatic Membership)
Students pay only €5,00! (use the code 'student' at the checkout, please not that we will ask to present your student card at the entrance)

From wasteland to bee-heaven

How best to improve the well being of bees and their urban environment? By planting melliferous plants! It sounds so simple but areas where bees thrive are not only green but colourful, throughout the year. In order to create a bee-friendly landscape there needs to be a synergy between vegetal, animal and human 'effort'. Whilst developing this environment we will see to what extent the bees benefit and at what times throughout the year we need to focus our effort to sustain our local wild and honey bees. Monitoring the environment and the bee colonies could provide the right feedback to improve the bees environment.

And that's not all. In order to create a sustainable environment for bees it is also important not to use chemical fertilisers, limit your usage of toxic paints and lacquers and make sure that you only use organic seeds and soil. It is a group effort so to say, and that is exactly what we aim to do. Get involved and learn what you can do to improve your bees' well being.

Get involved!

Do you live or work in the neighbourhood and want to learn what you yourself or your company can to to help the bees? Are you a designer looking to design your own beehive and learn more about the requirements? A chef looking for ways to produce new foods? Are you a biologist, architect, city planner or do you just really feel like taking better care of the biodiversity of our city? Come to this introduction day and/or sign up for our Urban Beekeeping Course.


Round beehive entrance - Bees around the entrance of their hive.