Bees are the focus of Ross Fountain restoration anniversary in Princes Street Gardens

Events to celebrate the first anniversary of the successful restoration of the Ross Fountain took place in Princes Street Gardens yesterday.

Wednesday, 10th July 2019, 7:00 am
Niamh Eyles 6, Francesca Wright, 11,  Alexander Wright, 9, and a beekeeper from the world bee project 

Happy Bee-Day event. Pic: Lisa Ferguson
Niamh Eyles 6, Francesca Wright, 11, Alexander Wright, 9, and a beekeeper from the world bee project Happy Bee-Day event. Pic: Lisa Ferguson

Hosted by The Quaich Project, which is looking to radically transform West Princes Street Gardens, the “Happy Bee-Day” event was a day of bee-related activities .

Throughout the day the project hosted workshops and craft activities from the Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust, an organisation which helps communities reconnect people with their local green spaces. The RSPB also put on a bee hotel making workshop which can be a safe haven for the insects and provide a place to live all year round.

The network is a global honeybee monitoring initiative which uses cloud computing to track and understand the decline of honey bee populations and how humans can help protect them, with one of the connected apiary linked with the University of Edinburgh.

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Face painting, a real bee hive and honey-tasting were all also on offer from the Scottish Beekeepers Association, alongside a demonstration of the World Bee Project’s Hive Network.

In addition to this there was also a performance from the Sing in the City Community Choir, mini cupcakes and a welcome talk from The Quaich Project.

There was also a performance from the Scottish Country Dancing Society in the afternoon to end the day.

A spokesman for the event said: “Despite the rain, hundreds of people came out to celebrate our Bee-day activities. Our neighbours at St Cuthbert’s Parish Church were kindly on hand and offered an indoor ‘Plan B’.

“Thanks to everyone who braved the weather to join us.”

The events of the day were themed around the flying furry pollinators due to the anniversary of the restoration falling during the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affair’s Bees Needs Week.

The week of action aims to increase the awareness of the challenges facing bees in the UK and offers tips on how best to help the insects including growing more nectar and 
pollen rich flowers and cutting grass less often.

The Ross Fountain was removed from its home in the centre of Princes Street Gardens in 2017 as work on a £1.9 million refurbishment programme by the Ross Development Trust began.

It was opened by panto favourite Grant Stott in front of crowds on July 9 last year with a brand new blue and green colour scheme.

The Quaich Project, which put on the event, is the name of the development plan for the West Princes Street Gardens, funded by the Ross Development Trust.

A large scale development plan is already under way with the Ross Bandstand and the gardens in the area due to undergo a widescale revamp in the coming years.

The plans include rebuilding the bandstand as a new pavilion with a Welcome Centre housing the garden’s cafeteria, the entry point for those with accessibility needs and community event space, designed to coexist within the gardens.