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Dublin: 4°C Tuesday 7 December 2021

Whatever the referendum result - there'll be one clear winner ... Bees

Yes. Bees.

Image: Shutterstock/Kirill Demchenko

ALL GOING TO plan – we should know the result of the same-sex marriage referendum at some stage this afternoon (expect a definite result sometime between 3pm and 6pm – it goes without saying, we’ll be all over it here at TheJournal.ie).

Soon (thankfully) the posters will be disappearing from the nation’s lampposts.

And one group, based in the Smithfield area of Dublin, has come up with a novel new use for them … as hives for the city’s bee community.

As urban renewal organisation the Lifeline Project puts it:

In the wake of one of the most heated referendum campaigns in recent years, Bí, the urban bee activists, propose using a by-product of our democratic process to assist theirs.

Lifeline’s ‘Bí’ plan will see the campaign’s referendum posters reused to bring bees into the city, it’s planned.

Using a simple folding technique, posters which would otherwise go to waste can be recycled as ‘nuke’ hives, designed to house new swarms of bees over the summer months.

As Lifeline’s (almost poetic) press release explains:

“Every year in late-spring early summer, faced with the life-or-death problem of choosing and traveling to a new home, honeybees stake everything on a democratic process that includes collective fact-finding, vigorous debate, and consensus building.

Every election and referendum campaign results in the littering of streets with masses of plastic and heavy-duty corriboard posters. Their disposal adds to the tons of existing waste that weighs heavy on our land.

hives One of the finished hives. Source: Kaethe Burt-O'Dea

The group – which promotes ecological projects in the northwest inner city – will be holding a public event in Smithfield on 1 June, where people will be shown how to transform referendum posters into summer beehives for urban gardens.

Lifeline’s Kaethe Burt-O’Dea said they would be “delighted” to hear from any campaign group with posters to spare. They’ve already been in touch with one major party about taking a bulk delivery, she said.

Note: Got any posters to recycle? Want to find out more? Here’s their website. 

Read: The DSPCA has taken custody of the sheep found in a block of Dublin flats

Read: Vincent Browne will be anchoring the referendum count from The George

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