Spring biking bee adventure this Saturday

Press Release – Auckland Council

30 September 2016
Spring biking bee adventure this Saturday
As spring struggles to find purchase in Auckland, the urban bee population is enjoying a surge of support through a city bee “social sculpture” collaboration organised by artist Sarah Smuts-Kennedy for the Auckland Design Office.

The “For the love of bees” city bee collaboration is being launched on Saturday 1 October with a spring biking adventure around bee-friendly spaces in central Auckland. It’s part of a wider project aiming to make Auckland the safest city in the world for bees. It will foster a network of businesses and people to learn about bee safe food, bee keeping and organics.

Auckland Design Office spokesperson Liz Allen says the “For the love of bees” collaboration could involve people establishing bee hives on city roof tops and creating a plentiful supply of bee food in the city.

A newly established bee space at the former site of the Griffiths Building on the corner of Wellesley and Albert Street, now called Griffiths Gardens, will become a teaching hub for the “For the love of bees” project. Visitors will be able to attend free permaculture and organics workshops and talks.

Participation in the launch spring biking bee adventure on Saturday is free and activities will include cycling, music, face painting, tree planting and costume competitions.

Participants are encouraged to bike the entire trail from 9am to 3pm, or join at different points along the route.

“We’ll be using the Quay Street cycleway, the Grafton Gully cycleway and the new cycleway along new North Road between Eden Terrace and Kingsland,” says Liz Allen.

For people who don’t own a bike but would like to give it a go, Loop Group, a volunteer community group dedicated to turning bike trash into bike treasure, will provide bike maintenance and lend you a bike for a koha.

Activities on Saturday start in Victoria Park at 9am with a blessing, welcome and assembling of bicycles. At 9.30am the adventure will move to the Daldy Street Community Garden for a working bee.

Albert Park is an inner-city green space important for urban bees. At 10am experts will share information about urban trees, bees and pollination while children have fun with face painting.

At the Symonds Street Junction community garden at 11am, participants will share herbal tea and engage with works by 2016 Elam School of Fine Art graduates. They will also be able to visit the artwork at Hauora Garden at 1 Ponsonby Rd to see a range of native and exotic medicinal plants including bee-friendly plants such as Hebes, Manuka and Kowhai.

Lot23 at 22 Minnie Street Eden Terrace is a creative hub for artists, musicians and performers and features an urban cafe with a beehive. Lot23 will provide “beautiful” lunch options at 12pm on Saturday and will display a pasture painting by the community. “The Outlook for Someday”, New Zealand’s sustainability film challenge for young people, will show winning short films that star bees.

Participants will plant bee food and enjoy a party in the park at the Kingsland Community Orchard at 1pm, then travel to the Te Maara St Columba community gardens at 2pm to help with a working bee and learn to identify bee-friendly plants.

“A little bee told me that there will be a pollinator plant party at Hakanoa Reserve in Grey Lynn at 2.30pm,” says Liz.

“People can join us there or at any point earlier on the route,” she says.

The spring biking bee adventure will conclude with a beekeeper talk and afternoon tea at Kelmarna organic community gardens and city farm.


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