Creating a buzz: bringing bees to libraries

Beekeeping is helping this community create a new vision for their city – promoting a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle.

The challenge

Located less than 15 kilometres from Barcelona’s busy international airport, the Jordi Rubió i Balaguer Library wanted to focus on how libraries can help to bring nature to the city’s urban spaces. 

They came together with the local community as part of the challenge team to explore how beekeeping can help to protect the environment and urban biodiversity – and improve people’s health and quality of life at the same time. 

The name of the project is Apiteca, and its motto is “The buzz of the community”.

The initiative

After a series of planning workshops, the challenge team – consisting of librarians, experts and members of the community – decided to install beehives in the library’s courtyard as part of an exploration of different elements of the urban environment. 

These installations inspired a series of other initiatives, including a feminist urban planning prototype to explore the city, by foot, to analyse its problems from a different perspective. 

They also set up a honey market, in partnership with local organisations including the food bank. And the sound of the bees inspired a collaboration with the local art centre.

What’s next?

The challenge team is considering the next steps for the programme, thinking about how to improve the library and, by extension, the city and biodiversity. 

They are planning a series of workshops and talks focused on different environmental, sociological and cultural topics. Plans are also afoot to expand into other public spaces, including the re-wilding of public parks to help support the pollination of wildflowers, as well as building bee service areas.

They would like to replicate their idea in other towns in the region and to encourage and inspire other local municipalities to be flexible in their eco-urban town planning.

Website by HOAX Amsterdam