Launched earlier this month the BeeTrailApp, cunningly escorts budding bee spotters along a walking trail which includes seven particularly bio-diverse pollinator friendly areas of Kings Cross, including Camley Street Natural Park, Granary Square, Handyside Gardens, Kings Cross Natural Bathing Pond and Global Generation’s very own Skip Garden.
Multiple studies indicate that bees are in decline both locally and globally. A significant problem causing this population decrease is the common expectation that flowers should be bright, bold, large and double-headed. However, often these are not good for bees and other pollinators, whose tongues are not long enough to reach the precious nectar. An additional barrier to protecting bees is that many people are afraid of them. We thought the android phone app would be a family friendly way of engaging people in a low-level citizen science project, where they can overcome their fear through identifying and monitoring the many different species of bees - such as Carder bees, Hairy-Legged bees and Honey bees! We also want to share and deepen general understanding about flowers like Hyssop, Hebe and Salvia that provide good forage for bees and other pollinators.
In tandem with the App, Global Generation has improved biodiversity habitats across the Kings Cross Estate, this includes the colourful planters in front of the Granary Square Restaurants, the vast numbers of wild flowers on the banks of the Swimming Pond and of course plenty of bloom within our very own Skip Garden.
The idea of the App - KXBeeTrail was transformed into reality by technologists at creative consultancy Wolff Olins taking six weeks to develop. Using Google’s new Physical Web and beacon technology, Wolff Olins embraced the possibility of enabling people to interact more attentively with nature by the use of an android/smart phone device. Each of the seven stops along the trail, are numbered with a Honey Club sign which invites people to learn something new or take part in an activity to complete the trail. Each stop is connected to a beacon allowing the participant upon completion of the activity to unlock a new part of the App. This unlocking of the citizen science monitoring stops has rewards included such as vouchers to discounts to some of the great Kings Cross restaurants, including: The Greek Larder, Dishoom King’s Cross and the Skip Garden Kitchen.
Within the first ten days of the BeeTrailApp launch download numbers reached 315! We have had some great public feedback and it's been a popular activity to do with the children during their holidays.
The Honey Club and Bee Trail has had some really positive media coverage!
Have a look at the Bee Trail Website here
By Jane Riddiford