City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

There’s A New Kind of Buzz at the Lyceum!


By Irene Brown - Posted on 20 June 2017

Lyceum bees - image credit Jackie Crichton 2.jpg

The Lyceum theatre is home to 70,000 new permanent residents! In June 2017 two beehives were installed on the roof of our city centre theatre. The bees are part of the theatre’s comprehensive green initiative, and the public is invited to adopt a bee or sponsor a whole hive, with all funds raised going towards making The Lyceum more environmentally sustainable.

With this initiative, Edinburgh will be joining European counterparts like Paris that is ahead in the apiary stakes with hundreds of hives on roofs of major building including Notre Dame Cathedral and Opéra Garnier, who sell the coveted product that takes the name Miel Béton.

Ben Twist, Director of Creative Carbon Scotland, said, “We are thrilled that The Lyceum, a leading member of the Green Arts Initiative, is taking this wonderful step. This is exactly the kind of inventive and engaging project that we have learned to expect from Scotland’s cultural organisations. Environmental sustainability projects often seem difficult to pay for, and The Lyceum’s creative thinking shows how it can be done. I believe that The Lyceum will soon be just the first of many arts organisations in the country to fundraise specifically to improve their environmental sustainability.”

The move is part of the Lyceum’s long term environmental plan. Within the next five years, it aims to replace the diesel-ran company vehicle with an electric one, install LED lights throughout the front of house areas, and replace the theatre’s ageing boiler system in favour of a more efficient one that will significantly reduce carbon impact. Green initiatives such as these will help lessen the theatre’s impact on the environment, allowing existing limited financial resources to be directed towards artistic programming and vital outreach work in the community and with young people. All bee donations going exclusively towards these goals.

Looking after the theatre’s bees is Scottish Honey’s Brian Pool, a third-generation professional beekeeper with 40 years of experience who said, “The Lyceum’s roof is now home to 70,000 bees who have settled in very nicely – you wouldn’t even know they were there. With access to Princes Street Gardens and the Meadows to collect nectar and pollen, we’re looking forward to collecting some delicious Lyceum Honey. The Lyceum is the first theatre I’ve worked with and joins other Edinburgh institutions like The Balmoral, St Andrew’s House, and Royal Botanic Gardens to host my beehives.”

Individual bees can be adopted for £1, and Dine, Edinburgh’s contemporary brasserie located near the theatre, is the first to sponsor a hive for £500. As thanks, the Lyceum hopes to provide honey harvested from the roof for use in the restaurant. Let’s hope there will be enough of Edinburgh’s own Miel Béton for sale to the public!