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The HAT Project 2006/07 is supporting 20 exchange fellowships between England, South Asia and Australia


Residency at Beaconhouse National University


Posted by Johnny Magee on 7th November 2006

Through an intriguingly convoluted web of bureaucracy and gracious formality within the walls of the University of the Punjab, we eventually found our way to exactly the person for whom we had been searching since our arrival. Dr Nasreen Muzaffar, Director of the Honeybee Research Centre at the university shares the same passion for all pollinator bees that we have observed and shared with our entomologist friends throughout the duration of our 'Every third mouthful...' research project and exhibition.

It appears that the role of these vital creatures is as misunderstood and undervalued here as it is in the UK and other study areas we have visited: that 'Every third mouthful of food we eat is dependent upon the unmanaged pollination services of bees': that due to habitat degradation and loss of biodiversity in the world our food supply is under threat. But also, as with our other studies, that there is a simple solution - wild flowers and bee nests.

Last Thursday we were invited to a wonderful family dinner by Sara Salman, who is a lecturer at BNU. Sara's parents own a farm growing, amongst other things, citrus fruit and alfalfa. During our conversation Mr. and Mrs. Salman revealed that the yield from their citrus trees was not as high as they would like, and have agreed to take part in an 'in the field' trial using indigenous material to create bee nests. Dr. Muzaffar has provided us with exactly the right bee nest structure for this area of the world. Perhaps we should effect a meeting of minds and means.

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Peter Chatwin and Pamela Martin talk to conference during cHAT week at Sanskriti, Delhi, India. March 2007