Opus: creating a buzz about bees

A Birmingham restaurant will create a buzz this month with a debate about how to save one of Europe’s most endangered species – bees.

Opus at Cornwall Street will be bringing together some of the Midland’s leading bee specialists as part of its Opus In Conversation series – a collection of talks discussing matters important to the city.

Beekeeper John Gale 2
They’ll debate how their demise would have a detrimental effect on the economy, environment and diet, and what can be done to save them.
Since the 1900s, the UK has lost 20 species of bees with a further 35 currently considered under threat of extinction.
Without these insects, it is estimated that a third of our diet would be lost due to the catastrophic effect it would have on crops and would cost UK farmers £1.8 billion a year to pollinate their produce without them.
While environmental factors, such as heavy rainfall during summer, has affected the number of bees, other factors such as a shortage of hives available in urban areas, lack of education on how to look after them and farmers using neonicotinoids – a bee-killing pesticide – have all played a part.
Opus – recently awarded the highest possible rating of Three Star Sustainability Champion by the Sustainable Restaurant Association – will be hosting an informative and inspiring conversation discussing what can be done to save these crucial creatures.

Bee Keeper John Gale and Opus Ann Tonks 1
Ann Tonks, director of Opus at Cornwall Street, pictured with local beekeeper John Gale, said: “Bees are in serious danger at the moment and yet we don’t feel enough people are aware of how quickly their numbers are declining.
“That’s why we’ve taken action and dedicated an Opus In Conversation to them, to get the people of Birmingham talking and acting to save our bees.
“Bees play a fundamental part in our society. They are a key pollinator to a lot of the delicious produce we like to serve in our restaurant. In fact, every dish in our restaurant relies on bees, from tomato to thyme, and without them, our diet would change drastically. We’re thrilled to have gathered some of the region’s most knowledgeable professionals and can’t wait to hear their thoughts and advice.”

Beekeeper John Gale 2
Sharif Kahn, President of Birmingham & District Beekeepers’ Association, said: “It’s really disheartening to hear that some species of UK bees run the risk of extinction. As a community, I fully believe we can take action and stop this from happening.£  
The Opus In Conversation: Bees In The City debate at Opus at Cornwall Street is a free ticketed event and will take place on Friday July 15 from 5.30pm. Audience members are encouraged to field questions to the panel before the discussion.
For tickets, call 0121 200 2323.