I want to be able to pass on as much as I know about bee's. Teaching, educating, showing and guiding people how to keep bee's and how to grow your own colonies of bees in your own back gardens, fields or even a flat roof. Of course a by product of keeping bee's is the wonderful raw honey made from naturally raised English Bees. By raising this money you will be helping me buy bee suits for people to come and see the bees and hives without having to comitt to huge layouts. I love taking people to see the bees. It is such a wonderful thing to be able to find a queen bee or recognise a worker bee or drone bee. I will also be able to buy more natural Cedar bee hives to grow the number of colonies in the excisting apiaries.
About the project
I started keeping bee's 9 years ago after taking a basic course on Bee keeping with the local beekeeping association. I had always had an interest in Bees and nuture but never the space or time. I bought my first 'Nuc' of Bees from a local beekeeper and straight away realised that the theory was fine, but the practical side of keeping Bees needed much much more learning. I struggled through my first year, bumbling along making the normal beginners mistakes like checking the bees too much, neally crushing the queen, putting the first super on the wrong way around etc etc.Now 9 years later I can say I live for my Bees. I say good morning to my home hives and good night too. I activly talk about Bees and the importance of Bees to not only our farming community, polunation, but also the education the needs to be spread amongst our comunities to enable more people of all ages to take up and learn about keeping bees.I am aiming to expand my hives from 8 to double and beyond to enable me to educate as many people as possible in the basics and not so basic parts of bee keeping. To have one on one sessions in a teaching enviroment and to be able to take small groups into the Apiaryies and show people that Bees are indeed gentle creatures and have a vital part to play in our enviroment and crop polunation process.
How your money will be used.
I need to expand and grow my hives. Currently I have 8 fully working National standard hives with a rolling number of Nuc starter hives too. To be able to take people, and i mean lots of people I have to expand the number of hives by at least doubling or even trippling the working hives. Along with extra hives I will need to buy bee suits for adults and children. I really believe through education and being able to experiance being close to bees.
I only buy good quality bee hives as they are build to last the test of time, and most hives will last about 15 years or so. I would like to buy more Bee suits so people can come and visit the hives and have a real hands on experiance with the Bees as this is such an important aspect of what I would like to do, teaching about Bees and how cool they are.
Emily my eldest helping me collect a swarm of bees in a church garden
Risks and challenges
Beekeeping like most farming ventures is fairly dependent on climatic and environmental conditions. longer periods of harsh climate mean the bees do not come out and forage but also, pollen and nectar flows can be affected by periods of drought or excessive rainfall / sunshine hours. These bees however will be situated in a rural environment and of course Somerset where climatic conditions are generally warmer on average, but also the variety of forage is more diverse on account of the variation in plant species found in our surrounding fields. It is thought that this diversity of forage helps boost the immune systems of bees, which should help them fight against the various diseases that bees are prone to.
As honey production is dependent on nectar flows, harvesting does not occur in one giant sitting, instead it is staggered to the blooms of individual plant species. Thus, Crowdfunder rewards may be delivered in a staggered manner over the course of the beekeeping season.