August: Bee and Pollinator Festival | News and Features

After a three-year hiatus, the Bee and Pollination Festival is back! This weekend, learn about the vital role pollinators play in our lives at the University of Bristol Botanical Garden.

The annual Bee and Pollination Festival takes place at the Botanic Garden, Stoke Bishop, Bristol, on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 August from 10am to 5pm.

Visitors will have the chance to experience the ancient art of medieval skep making – the skill of turning straw to make a safe home for honeybees, with Chris Park. Chris will also lecture on ‘Mead, medicine, and magic’, traditional folklore of the ancient Britons that surrounds honey potions and their ‘beneficial nature’.

This weekend’s program of short lectures includes Dr. Rowena Jenkins on the health benefits of Manuka honey; dr. Thomas O’Shea-Wheller on the threat to native species by the Asian hornet; dr. Steve Nicholls introduces the world of dragonflies and how they evolved; and Monica Barlow from Bees for Development on how sharing beekeeping skills with the world’s poorest communities can help build livelihoods and save natural habitats.

Nick Wray, curator of the Botanic Garden, said: “Due to the pandemic, it’s been three years since we last held our Bee and Pollination Festival, so it’s great to be back. This year there is so much to learn, see and experience – bringing together scientific research, natural history and beekeepers to offer something for everyone in the setting of the Botanical Garden in its late summer glory.”

Bristol Beekeepers will be back to demonstrate the workings of a living beehive and share the skills and knowledge needed to understand these fascinating insect communities. They will also display jars of honey that will be presented to the jury to find the best in Bristol. As well as jars of honey, waxy goods and honey cake will be on display and for sale.

Displays include Avon Wildlife Trust’s six-acre learning center and wildflower meadow, Grow Wilder; Beans and Herbs bee-friendly flower and vegetable seeds; Bumblebee Conservation Trust shows how they care for and improve the land for the benefit of pollinators, and how you can do the same; global charity Bees For Development will talk about their vital work around the world; and dr. Christoph Grueter and researchers from the university’s School of Biological Sciences will demonstrate their research into honeybee communication and learning behavior and share their knowledge with visitors.

There will also be a series of poetry walks conducted by the poetry quartet IsamBards. Visitors to the festival will have the chance to take a stroll through the garden with them and hear them recite site-specific poems and new works specially created in honor of the bees.

Many plant nurseries will be present at the festival, offering expert advice from the growers or bee-friendly garden items for sale, along with refreshments from Chandos Deli.

The Bee and Pollination Festival will take place on the Botanical Garden at The Holmes, Stoke Park Road, Bristol, BS9 1JG on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 August 2022 from 10am to 5pm.

Admission: £10 (or £11 with donation of a gift); free to under 18s, Friends of the Garden, University of Bristol staff, retired staff and alumni and ALL students, visitor carers.

More information

About the University of Bristol Botanical Garden
The Botanical Garden has a strong evolutionary theme and cultivates over 5,000 plant species forming four core collections illustrating the evolution of plants, plants from Mediterranean climates, beneficial plants (including Chinese and Western herb gardens) and rare and endangered native plants in the Bristol area .

Top attractions include an amazing dell that demonstrates the evolution of land plants, including the dinosaurs’ favorite plants: ginkgos, cycads, tree ferns, monkey puzzles, and the Wollemi Pine. Other delights include greenhouses, home to giant Amazon water lilies, tropical fruits and medicinal plants, orchids, cacti, and a unique sacred lotus collection.

Normal admission and opening hours
The Botanic Garden is open seven days a week: from 10 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. (Glass Houses from 10.30 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

Admission: £9 (or £9.90 with donation of a gift), except on WEDNESDAYS, which are DAISY (Donate as it suits you) days; free for university staff, retirees and alumni, Friends of the Botanic Garden, students and children under 18, guardians of visitors.

Dogs (with the exception of registered assistance dogs with disabilities) are not allowed in the Botanical Garden.

The garden is accessible for wheelchairs and mobility scooters with a designated path around the garden and greenhouses. Disabled toilets are available on site and a wheelchair is available on request at the Welcome Lodge.

Directions to the Botanical Garden
From the city center go to the top of Whiteladies Road, at the junction and traffic lights go straight over Durdham Down towards Stoke Bishop. At the traffic lights, go straight ahead and take the first right onto Stoke Park Road, Holmes Botanical Garden is 150 yards on the right.

Members of the public who want to support the work of the Botanic Garden can join the Friends of the Garden. For more information visit the Friends of the Botanic Garden or contact Sue Beech, Membership Secretary, email:

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: