There are three urban bee colonies on the rooftops of Connaught House and a solitary beehive at Passfield Hall which help LSE enhance biodiversity on the School estate and beyond.
The hives were financed by the LSE Sustainable Projects Fund and are cared for by students in the LSESU Beekeeping Society, bee expert Barnaby Shaw and Dan Reeves (LSE's Residences Sustainability Officer).
The planting on LSE's new Centre Buildings rooftop terraces are pollinator supporting, and you can often see LSE's flying friends mingling with students and staff sharing a collective lunch in the sun! Additional pollinator supporting planting was also added to planters on Connaught House roof, on the flight path approach to the hives.
The LSESU Beekeeping Society is open for all staff and students who are interested in learning about urban beekeeping and discovering the world of bees. The Society organises talks, trips, film screenings and an annual LSE honey tasting!
Connaught House bees
There are now three hives on the rooftop of Connaught House, taking advantage of the brown roof and other local parks and gardens which are a source of food for the bees. The typical foraging distance for European honey bees is believed to be around 3 km which means that our bees can collect nectar from as far afield as St James’s Park, Green Park, Regent’s Park and even Hyde Park.
The LSE beehives are registered with the National Bee Unit's 'BeeBase', which helps track the national distribution of beehives and the spread of pests, as well as providing beekeepers with a wide range of free information to help keep their honey bees healthy.
Passfield Hall solitary bees
LSE's Passfield Hall has its own solitary beehive nestled amongst its courtyard gardens, aiding pollination and providing a home for solitary bees. The hive itself is attached to an exterior wall and has its own viewing window to see nesting.
Gardening Club (on LSE Rooftop)
There is a dedicated growing space on the roof terrace of the Shaw Library in the Old Building of LSE, and a committed group of staff and student gardeners who keep the recycled planters (a circular economy approach!) in shape. The terrace is an ideal place to relax with friends, and now you can try your hand at urban food growing too.
The rooftop planters were set up with funding from Capital Growth (a Mayor of London food-growing initiative) and the LSE Annual Fund.
Hedgehog Friendly Campus Volunteer Team
LSE joined the Hedgehog Friendly Campus programme in 2021 and gained the Bronze Award. The Hedgehog Friendly Campus team of volunteers (both staff and students) run campaigns and events raising awareness of the plight of hedgehogs whilst taking practical steps to improve habitats and circumstances for hedgehogs.
Hedgehog numbers in the UK have declined by almost half since 2000. We're actually a Hedgehog Friendly Campus with no hedgehogs! So, how does that make sense? As a central London university, it's unlikely we'll see 'hogs roaming around campus in the foreseeable future, as they prefer semi-rural environments. But as a university with 11,000 students, we have the unique opportunity to educate and raise awareness of the problems affecting hedgehogs, so students and staff can become more knowledgeable about how to affect positive change for 'hogs in their personal lives, and pass this knowledge on to their friends, families and peers.
Watch this great little video of some easy tips to support hedgehogs.