Bees of Bensham

‘Bee’s of Bensham’ is a two year project, ending in April 2024, in collaboration with artist and beekeeper Barbara Keating. Working with residents, community organisations, such as the Comfrey Project, Rawling Road Medical Centre and Bensham Court; and in partnership with Climate Action North, Northumbria University and Natural Society of Northumbria. It is funded through the Platinum Jubilee fund from the National Lottery Community Fund.

‘Bee’s of Bensham’ is a citizen science and art project connecting Bensham residence with their local habitat. Working across Bensham & Saltwell through creative activities and events, it looks to understand what bees and pollinators live in our community; how we can support them; and the benefit there is to helping increase the bee population. Honeybees have become the “poster child” for biodiversity, when there is only one honeybee, but 270 other bee species in the UK alone, and they, along with flies, wasps, bats, moths, birds all pollinate our food.  Many of these bee’s are solitary and do not live in hives but in our walls and in the ground in our community. They also do not make honey, but are just as important as pollinators and to nature. In Bensham and Saltwell alone we know we have identified at least 33 species.

For Bees of Bensham we are exploring what land we have in our community, monitoring what wildlife we already have, and seeing what needs to be done to manage it, if needed, for the benefit of ourselves and the nature that we share it with. This is being done through understanding what plants grow in our community, rethinking land use and exploring how we can create a more sustainable provision for pollinators. The long-term aim is to develop an interest in our natural world in our urban area for the benefit of the community and our local environment and spaces that we as a community can enjoy and build deeper connections and sustainable relationships between bees, plants, land and people.

This has been achieved through walks and talks with naturalists and wildlife experts exploring what pollinators, flowers and other wildlife we have in the community; pollinator monitoring to record sightings in the local area using iNaturalist; accredited training by Climate Action North; making bee hotels and seed bombs; and a symposium to bring together artists and citizen scientists.

To find out about the project and how you can be involved keep an eye on our website and social media. You can also email Ben at

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