Get the buzz, our bee bid wins out!

Children and staff at Ferney Lee School, Todmorden, dressed for the occasion with members of the bees campaign, June 2011
Children and staff at Ferney Lee School, Todmorden, dressed for the occasion with members of the bees campaign, June 2011

A BEE biotope will be created in Todmorden thanks to townspeople’s votes ensuring the project won the Jubilee People’s Millions contest.

Incredible Edible Todmorden’s (IET) “Bee Spoke Todmorden” project won in the ITV Yorkshire region of the contest last week, meaning it will receive £44,714 of funding for a scheme to provide interactive learning, sensory planting, guided walks and maps to illustrate connections between bees and food production.

Pam Warhurst, from IET, said the project will also link in with the Green Route around Todmorden.

“We are absolutely over the moon about being able to do such an exciting project,” she said.

“The Green Route is a fabulous partnership project that has the support of so many groups within the town and the work that we will be able to do with Todmorden in Bloom and Bee Credible will really start to make a difference to how Todmorden looks and feels and hopefully make people aware of a more healthy environment for them.

“It’s fun but also really important for us all.

“It would be great if people would like to help make this a reality. It’s a Todmorden project for all the town.

“Come and help us make this dream come true.”

Bee Spoke Todmorden received 3,831 votes, 390 more than Purple Patch Arts’ “Changing Minds’ project.

Alan Southgate, from community beekeeping group Bee Credible, said the award will be a tremendous boost to the group.

The funding will enable Bee Credible to treble the number of hives it has in and around Todmorden, including establishing an experimental apiary of four different types of hives. The group will organise a training course in natural beekeeping for 20 beginners, as well as providing training to develop the hive maintenance and hive making skills of more experienced beekeepers. In addition, Bee Credible will be able to educate people about the use of bee products - honey, pollen and propolis - for food and health.

Mr Southgate said: “It’s fantastic news. It’s something that will benefit Todmorden’s food production.”

He was very grateful to the people who picked up the phone to vote for the project. “A big thank you to everyone who voted,” he said.

“It was tremendous the effort that everyone put in and we hope that they will see the benefits in the years to come.”

With all these developments set to go ahead in the near future, Bee Credible needs more beekeepers and more sites for hives.

The group will be holding an open meeting in August to welcome new members and introduce them to the bees.

Anyone interested in becoming part of the project is asked to contact Bee Credible via bee.credible.bees@gmail.com.

Mary Clear, who was on the project team, said: “All of us who helped get those votes in enjoyed the collective buzz of doing something positive for the bees, the planet and the town.

“For a small town up against stiff competition we did very well. We won our money fair and square and it’s great to know how many people support our cause.”

For more information, visit www.incredible-edible-todmorden.co.uk.