The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, is launching an innovative campaign to encourage 'bee-friendly' behaviour and help support London’s vital bee population.
Award-winning creative agency LIDA, part of M&C Saatchi, has redesigned original artwork by cult artist Magnus Muhr to highlight the plight of London’s bees. The eye-catching campaign images use dead bees and simple illustrative techniques to convey the situation of London’s bee population.
These visuals will take the form of striking billboards appearing across the London Underground network from June 17 and humorous video clips with a serious message, which are hoped to go viral across the internet. This creative design work by a world-class agency has been done on a pro-bono basis.
The aim of the campaign is to encourage Londoners and organisations to visit the Capital Growth website to find out why bees are essential to life as we know. People are urged to visit www.capitalgrowth.org/bees/ to pledge their dedication to boosting London’s bee population.
Organisations from The Co-op to the Women’s Institute and the Soil Association have already pledged support. Pledges can be personalised but suggested bee-friendly behaviours include growing your own bee-friendly food including fruit trees, tomatoes and soft fruits, shopping for bee-friendly foods such as locally sourced honey or organically farmed crops and choosing bee-friendly gardening by minimising use of pesticides.
In addition, the Mayor has announced the winners of the Capital Growth bee competition to create 50 community hives. Groups are attending bee-training sessions before being given hives, equipment and a spring bee colony next year. Training ranges from classroom-based including specifics on urban beekeeping and equipment knowledge, to the practical, such as hands-on experience of making honey and sitting or building hives.
The 50 organisations to receive hives span 22 London boroughs (listed below) and each is expected to act as 'bee-friendly' ambassadors to help spread a love of bees and knowledge of urban bee-friendly behaviour. Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said: “I want London to boast a great quality of life making it an attractive place to live, work and visit. Protection of our environment is an important part of this. My 'bee-friendly' pledge as Mayor is to zealously safeguard our city's green spaces. Through Capital Growth, we aim to create 2012 community food growing spaces in London by 2012 which will provide nectar-rich plants for bees. As part of this, we are supporting the development of 50 new community bee hives across London to create sanctuaries for the urban bee.”
Rosie Boycott, Chair of London Food, said: “The Capital Growth project has kick-started a ‘Grow your Own’ revolution with the creation of over 1000 new community food growing spaces in London. The crops which are being planted need bees for pollination so now is the perfect time to adopt bee-friendly behaviours. We are honoured that LIDA, part of M&C Saatchi has helped us at no cost to develop such a world-class campaign to spread our message.”
Nicky Bullard, creative director at LIDA said: “As we all know, the bee population is continuing to decline causing potential but very serious implications for human life. With more people living in London and cities alike, it’s imperative that we take the time to learn more about this decline and find out ways to help the bees whether it is planting bee friendly plants of starting your own bee hive. It’s an honour to have been awarded this project and we are really looking forward to getting stuck in, driving the message across London."
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