Dublin Buzz: Bus depots now home for up to 150,000 bees!

New Dublin Bus Beehive Installed at Broadstone ahead of World Cities Day

by Rose Barrett
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Last year, an unused plot at Phibsboro Depot was transformed into a hive of activity to support natural biodiversity and combat the threat to the Black Bees due to hybridisation with non-native strains of the honey bee.

Now, Dublin Bus has introduced a new beehive to Broadstone Depot to help promote sustainability tomorrow, United Nations (UN) World Cities Day Monday, October 31.

The Dublin Bus beehive has been installed at Broadstone Depot, D 7 as part of the ‘Dublin Buzz’ initiative set up in 2021 to help native Irish Black Bees thrive amid dwindling numbers in the capital and to help to build a more sustainable future for all.

As well as 257 buses and 639 employees, Broadstone and Phibsboro Depots will now be home to up to 150,000 bees during the summer months and from 20,000 bees during the winter months.

The theme of this year’s UN World Cities Day is ‘Act Local to Go Global’, which highlights the fact that local action is critical to be able to achieve specific sustainable development goals globally by 2030.

As Ireland’s largest public transport provider carrying up to 142m people annually, helping commuters to reduce their reliance on the private car is a top priority for Dublin Bus and it is calling for people to think of how they could become more sustainable and to make a continued effort to take public transport this World Cities Day. 

The Dublin Buzz idea was conceived by Paul Granger, Dublin Bus mechanic and avid beekeeper, who decided to put his hobby, and the land, to good use and further the company’s commitment to nurturing local biodiversity and driving sustainability. Beehives located in cities produce healthier and more productive bees, as urban bees have access to greater biodiversity which results in a more varied diet and stronger immune systems.

These bees travel around the city and visit wildflower gardens and flower boxes and bring nectar back to the depots to make honey. The honey is then used to feed the bees, with some left over for Dublin Bus employees to enjoy. 

On his passion for beekeeping and how the idea for the Dublin Buzz Initiative first came about, Paul Granger said: “After doing a beekeeper’s course and keeping my own hives at home, I wanted to bring my knowledge and passion to Dublin Bus where I have worked for over 20 years.

“The interest peaked with my colleagues too and we have all now joined the North Kildare Beekeepers Association to keep our skills up to date and ensure we create safe environments for the bees to thrive at Phibsboro and Broadstone Depots.”

Along with supporting biodiversity through initiatives such as ‘Dublin Buzz’, accelerating the shift away from private cars is one of the most impactful contributions Dublin Bus can make as it will have a transformational impact in terms of reducing emissions, speeding up journey times and freeing up road space.

Last year, Dublin Bus launched an environmental report ‘Driving Change: Our Journey To Zero, that set out its environmental targets in its drive to become a zero-emissions operator by 2035 and a key part of the solution to creating a more sustainable Ireland.

The report highlighted that every single full bus replaces the equivalent of 80 cars on our roads, reducing emissions by over 90% and freeing up 300 metres of roadway; Dublin Bus takes up to 160,000 cars off the road each day; the bus represents the most cost-effective way for the state to invest in public transport, enabling the rapid deployment of sustainable mobility solutions at scale.

Dublin Bus is on course to become a zero-emissions operator by 2035 and since, 2017, Dublin Bus has reduced emissions by 13,500 tonnes, which equates to the weight of the entire bus fleet of 1,000 buses.

Dublin Bus has one of the lowest emission fleets in Europe, with its modern buses producing 87% less emissions per person than car users. Its fuel efficiency measures have reduced consumption of diesel by more than 2.5m litres per year and the entire 3,800 strong team at Dublin Bus have adopted a range of waste reduction and recycling measures including a ban on single use plastics and recycling 70% of waste across its eight depots.

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