Glasgow’s own plan Bee

August 28, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Councillor Matheson and PlanBee Ltd director Warrne Bader with some of the bees which have moved into the City Chambers hives.

Councillor Matheson and PlanBee Ltd director Warrne Bader with some of the bees which have moved into the City Chambers hives.

Glasgow’s plan B has nothing to do with the Referendum!  It is the Council’s strategy to increase the population of honeybees in the city. Around 120,000 bees have been installed in two insulated beehives on the roof of Glasgow City Chambers.

Vital in the food chain, this kind of bee is under threat because of pesticides and climate change.

Council Leader Gordon Matheson – who is also chair of Sustainable Glasgow – said: “Bees pollinate a third of the food we eat and also pollinate trees which helps reduce air pollution by taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Numbers have dropped dramatically so Sustainable Glasgow is helping reverse that decline by installing these hives.

“I hope the bees will flourish and help us ensure Glasgow remains a Dear Green Place for generations to come.”

PlanBee Ltd is the company which provides the bees, the hives and the training programmes. Council staff have swarmed to be trained in hive management.

Bees can travel up to three miles to find their target flowers.  Said Warren Bader of PlanBee Ltd: “Glasgow is a fantastic garden city. Bees can be safer in a city than in the countryside where a lot of farmers use pesticides and plant monocultures (just one type of crop) which isn’t healthy for pollen production. In a good summer the bees can produce plenty of honey.” He added: “Unless you are a flower, the bees really aren’t interested in you so no one should be worried!”

Wax from the bees will be used as furniture polish in the City Chambers. What happens to the honey will be decided when the quality and quantity is known.

Glasgow aims to become one of the most sustainable cities in Europe by cutting carbon emissions by 30% by 2020 / 21.

Already it has a network of electric car charging points; solar powered parking meters; Green Wardens; electric vehicles in the council fleet and a Green Energy Services Company to promote and oversee renewable energy projects. The Stalled Spaces initiative has seen 32 disused spaces in Glasgow brought back into use as community gardens, performance space and locations for public art installations. This scheme will be rolled out across Scotland.

Next year Glasgow plans to hold Green Year 2015.  Twelve months of activities will celebrate the city’s green credentials and encourage others to do their bit for the environment. Twitter: @greenglasgow.

Death falls from the sky

November 30, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The tarpauline covers the helicopter blades and a vast surrounding area has been evacuated for safety reasons.

Eight people are now reported dead after a Police Scotland helicopter crashed into the roof of the Clutha Vaults pub on Glasgow’s riverside around 11.25pm on Friday night.

Chief Constable Sir Stephen House gave the news at a sombre press conference near the tragic site this afternoon.

He said three of the dead were found in the helicopter and five were in the building. Another 14 people are seriously injured in the three Glasgow hospitals where victims were taken after the incident. An estimated 100 people were in the pub listening to the band ‘Esperanza’ when the helicopter crashed into the roof.  At the time of the incident 32 people were taken to hospital.

A major investigation is underway and the Air Accidents Investigations Branch will also conduct an inquiry into the cause of the crash.  Police Scotland, The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and the Scottish Ambulance Service are still working on the site ‘to rescue and recover those still inside the building,’ said Sir Stephen.

But no questions were answered about the possibility of other people being found alive.

He said: ‘We are dealing with a very sensitive and complex operation and we expect that emergency services will be at the scene for some time.’

A massive tarpaulin now covers the helicopter blades as emergency service personnel painstakingly work through the wreckage. Specialists from across Scotland are working with firefighters to make the building safe to enable the search and rescue operation to continue.

Councillor Gordon Matheson surrounded by Police, Fire, Ambulance and Scottish Government chiefs at the press conference near the tragic site.

Sir Stephen said: ‘I would like to take this opportunity to praise the people of Glasgow who helped in the very early stages following the incident and commend their courage.  We would thank the public for their co-operation as our officers and other emergency service colleagues continue this difficult task.’

First Minister Alex Salmond and Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon have been been at the scene.  Alex Salmond called it a ‘black day forScotland,’ and instructed Scottish flags to be flown at half mast on this St Andrew’s Day.  Nicola Sturgeon said ‘thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected.’  Glasgow City Council Leader Gordon Matheson praised the people of Glasgow who ‘headed towards’ the scene to help with the rescue. Gary Hardacre of the Ambulance Service said it was ‘very challenging’ to gain access to the casualties.

Westminster MP Jim Murphy who was driving near the scene at the time, assisted in passing people along a ‘human chain’ to bring out the injured from the pub.

‘It was an amazing humanitarian effort,’ he commented.

Within less than 24 hours of the incident, nearly 22,500 people had left messages of condolence on the Clutha Vaults’  website.

Esperanza, the Band which was playing in the pub on the night of the crash, report they are all ok but say: ‘Waking up and realising that it is all definitely horribly real. Despite the situation, everyone was so helpful and caring of each other. The police, ambulances, firefighters all did a stellar job and continue to do so today in extremely difficult conditions. Our biggest concern is that everyone is found and can get the care and help they need.’