bucket bee gardens
name: bucket bee gardens
start project: 2011-05-01
end project: 2011-12-31
Why install bee gardens in the city?
To this question, posed for good reasons in the basic concept/description for our Bee Garden Network (see the COG gardens section and www.under-construction.cc/bee-garden-network for background info and further links), could be rightly added another one when looking at our current monitoring project among Frankfurt's Bee Gardens 2011:
Why mobile bucket bee gardens?
As a matter of fact, at least on the first glance the idea of mobile bee gardens seems rather absurd. Of course we know beekeepers may move their hives to fecund pollen grounds. But that's something completely different than bringing gardens to the bees. Moreover, if city bees are in a rather comfortable situation for nutrition - what should be the advantage of a small bucket garden. And then bees are mapping space and communicating with each others about the location of pollen sites. Thus, isn't it a pun to present them mobile bee plant gardens?
However, there were of course reasons why we started to work with bucket bee gardens...
As already mentioned in our Bee Garden Network description, the Frankfurt Bee Gardens are conceived as 'educational gardens' and test sites: A tool to provide information about the living conditions of honey bees, inviting people to learn more about the important role bees and other pollinating insects play for biodiversity - and also a tool for research about the socio-ecological conditions of the related "Urban Biotopes".
This in background, we were looking for a simple, cheap, small and also mobile solution for our tool.
Something that could be installed in a variety of spaces (and space in the city is scarce), that would not bother our bee garden hosts (in terms of occupying space) and, being that cheap and simple, also encouraging others to follow up. There could have been alternatives for small, cheap, mobile garden installments (in fact we're also developing some in the framework of the ongoing Urban Biotopes project). However, for this season we chose the Bucket Bee Garden model.
As the Bucket Bee Gardens are core part of the Bee Garden Network, the main goals are: Using them as research sites within the comparative bee garden monitoring (locally and within the COG network), and using them as tools for communication and education.
Yet we're also collecting and researching topics more closely related to the bucket bee gardens, and to bucket gardens in general. I.e., as mortar buckets are widely in use for urban home gardening, concerning questions related to the (re-)use of recycled plastic material.
For more info see also the Frankfurt Bee Garden's project site at www.ArtSciEd.net
... over the current season regularily updated (incl. materials and ressources; i.e., we also created a little howto for bucket bee garden installments ;))