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Campus Bigården apiary

With 150,000 hard-working and persistent employees in our hives – coached by current queen bees Snöfrid , Kristina, Svea, and Sibylla – Umeå University creates a pollinator-friendly campus and thus contributes to biodiversity.

Recently, much has been written about the problems surrounding the declining number of insects, such as pollinators, in our news media. Pollination is an important element in our nature – about 80 percent of all plants in nature depend on pollinators in various ways.

To help solve this problem, Umeå University, SLU in Umeå and Akademiska Hus have set up a number of hives with Nordic bees at Umeå University campus. The project started in May 2020.

 

Ambitions with Campus Bigården apiary:

• Support the endangered Nordic bee, Apis mellifera mellifera.
• Contribute to the pollination of local plants in the vicinity.
• Produce by-products such as honey, pollen and wax – as eco-friendly campus profile products.
• Educate university employees and students in beekeeping and pollination ecology.
• Organize various activities for the public around the theme of beekeeping and pollination, such as civic research, photo exhibitions, insect trails and bee safaris.
• Place designed insect hotels around Umeå in collaboration with Umeå University art and industrial design students, Umeå Municipality and Västerbotten County Administrative Board.
• Support wild pollinators such as butterflies, bumblebees and wild bees through insect hotels and other projects.

Participanting parties and financing:

Campus Bigården apiary is run in cooperation with researchers and teachers at Umeå University and SLU in Umeå, UmU holding, Umeå Municpality and Västerbotten County Administrative Board.

The project is financed partly by Jordbruksverkets honeybee programme, and two different INTERREG projects. For support of wild pollinators, financing has been received from Naturvårdsverket LONA programme.

Deepen your knowledge:


The placement and the colours of the hives

The hives are set up behind Växthuset on Artedigränd 16 at Umeå University – they can be seen from all directions but are protected with fences and locks. Many ideas are behind the location of the hives, partly to optimize the conditions for the bees (sun, sheltered location, reduce the risk of intruders such as ants and certain parasites), partly to make it easy for the public to see the hives with minimal risks.

The colors of the beehives reflect the biological diversity in the Swedish environment (birch, spruce, lichen, different colors of flowers). Our queen bees have been named after various queens with a relationship either to Norrland or to famous people who are committed to nature and climate or to natural phenomena.

Present hives

2021:

The current queen bees are called Snöfrid, Kristina, Svea, and Sibylla.

 

Former queens:

Dorotea:

Origin: Tavelsjö, bought from Åke Jonsson, President of Umeå beekeepers' association. Bee: Apis mellifera mellifera (the Nordic bee). Born: 2019. Namned after town in Västerbotten County (earlier known as Bergvattnet, Kraapohke or Kraaponjaevrie), after 1799 renamed after queen Fredrika Dorotea Vilhelmina (1781-1826).

Fredrika:

Origin: Bygdeträsket, donation from from earlier employee at Umeå University, Rolf Sjöström. Bee: Apis mellifera mellifera (the Nordic bee). Born: 2018. Name after town in Västerbotten County (earlier named Viska, from samish Visteke, the place rich of the lichen renlav), after 1799 renamed after queen Fredrika Dorotea Vilhelmina (1781-1826).

Vilhelmina:

Origin: Bygdeträsket, bought from earlier employee at Umeå University, Rolf Sjöström. Bee: Apis mellifera mellifera (the Nordic bee). Born: 2018. Name after town in Västerbotten County (earlier named Vualtjere), after 1799 renamed after queen Fredrika Dorotea Vilhelmina (1781-1826).

Beekeeper team at Umeå University


Natuschka Lee, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences

Philippe Simon, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences

Baraa Rehamnia, guest researcher and PhD student from Algeria, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences

Researchers and teachers that contribute with know how


Anders Berg, Department of Science and Mathematics Education   

Olle Nygren, Faculty of Mecinice Office

Tor Ny, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics

Sven Carlsson, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, expert on breeding of bee queens

Uwe Sauer, Department of Chemistry

Dan Hultmark, Department of Molecular Biology

Jonas Barandun, Department of Molecular Biology

Bent Christensen, Department of Ecology and Environmental Science

Per Stenberg, Department of Ecology and Environmental Science and FOI

Carita Bengs, Department of Food, Nutrition and Culinary Science

Madelen Bodin, Curiosum Science Centre 

Cheng Choo Lee, UCEM 

Johanna Wallsten, SITES Röbäcksdalen, SLU

Micke Brooke Micke, Department of Agricultural Research for Northern Sweden, SLU 

David Parson, Department of Agricultural Research for Northern Sweden, SLU 

Anne Maarit Hekkala, Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies, SLU

Arboretum Norr, SLU

Local bee keepers and expertise


Per Ruth, experienced beekeeper in Umeå with engagement in NordBi project

Åke Jonsson, experienced beekeeper in Tavelsjö, chairman of Umeå beekeeper Association 

Jörgen Kragh, experienced beekeeper in Degernäs, bee health consultant and varroa expert

Claes Dahlgren, experienced beekeeper in Umeå

Rolf Sjöström, experienced beekeeper in Bygdeträsk, one of the most importand contributors of bee societies to new bee keepers in Västerbotten County

Bee news

French students examined insects

Honeybees and wood-living insects has been in focus during Erasmus practice.

Umeå University participates in the Gothenburg Science Festival

In April, Gothenburg bursts with popular science activities. Natuschka Lee will give a lecture on pollinators

Hunt for pollen begins

School pupils begin the Pollen Hunt and the Pollination week is dedicated to pollinating insects.

Activities - when COVID-19 restrictions allow for it

Bee-cam

Follow how active our bees are. We stream life in the hive and weigh the honey.

Collaborations and financiers

We have a lot of collaboration with various actors around honeybees and pollination.

For more information, please contact:

Natuschka Lee
Research fellow
E-mail
Email