Generation Bee

by golden-age-honey in Dumfries

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Cultivating new beekeepers! Generation Bee is about both - passing on the ability to care for bees and building up bee numbers by making hives more affordable for future beekeepers.

by golden-age-honey in Dumfries

Are you worried about bees? 

Interested in becoming a beekeeper yourself?

 Or

Just tempted by our fabulous rewards?

If so then please support 

A campaign to cultivate 

new beekeepers!

 

What is the Generation Bee project?

Honeybees depend on us humans to survive since the varroa mite pest has made it impossible for wild colonies to survive.  

Bees need our help to revive in the UK

Generation Bee is about both passing on the ability to care for bees and building up bee numbers by making hives more affordable for future beekeepers.

 

We believe that increasing the numbers of responsible beekeepers is essential to restore a sustainable bee population in the UK and thus protecting its ongoing food security.

With your generous support we aim to tackle the worrying decline of the bees by enabling new beekeepers through directly training young apprentices and by producing 50 affordable start-up hives for individuals and schools who are keen to keep their own bees but find the initial costs prohibitive.

What is the problem?

Both our ecosystems and much of our food production rely on insect pollination. However pollinator numbers are falling alarmingly including a 54% decline in UK Honeybee hives in the past 20 years.

There are things which everyone can do to help such as planting pollen rich flowers, buying more environmentally friendly food and, where possible, either keeping bees or supporting local beekeepers.

Who are we and why do we do this?

Luisa with her apprentices Jessie and Louis

Luisa started keeping bees two years ago after meeting her mentor who made her aware of the Crisis of the Honeybee and the shortage of new people seriously committed to bees in these challenging times. She has received support and training and feels now is the time to start giving back by passing on her knowledge to other young beekeepers and producing affordable hives to combat the decline of honeybees in the UK.

Luisa quickly found some enthusiastic young people who were keen to learn beekeeping. However she realised that the cost of taking on volunteers (detailed below) are too much for her fledgling business.

Luckily her wanna-be apprentices were not easily discouraged and so Team Generation Bee was formed (Victoria, Mareike, Michael, Jessie and Louis) to create this campaign and raise the money to allow Luisa to train up new beekeepers and produce affordable hives.

Generation Bee is a project with social responsibility where everybody wins. Luisa will provide free training to her apprentices in return for their help and this extra help will enable her to produce affordable hives that she will sell at just above cost price.

Luisa’s apiary, which is called Golden Age Honey, consists on a network of small sites in Dumfries & Galloway, South West of Scotland. The headquarters are in Dumfries and the bees are along the Solway coastline and in the hills of Dumfries and Galloway, South Lanarkshire and the Borders. In this part of the world arable farming is marginal, so bees mainly gather nectar from a variety of pesticide free flora such as trees, meadows and hedgerows.

What are the financial details?

Our trainees, Jessie and Louis will leave their homes in Glasgow and London and come to stay, one at a time, with Luisa for the beekeeping season to help with the apiary and be trained in beekeeping husbandry. The monthly cost of their room is £250 and food is £150, which for six months is a total of £2,400

Together they will work on the mature hives and generate 50 new colonies in the new affordable hives which will be sold for £225 to schools and beginners, significantly less that commercially available equivalent. The total cost for producing the hives and nurturing the new colonies will be £4,700.

The total amount required is £7,100, from which £2,100 will be funded by the sale of the hives and £5,000 from the Crowd-funding campaign.

Golden Age Honey is a young business with a lot of potential to develop, any extra profits from this campaign will be invested into the apiary, which Luisa hopes will become a centre for learning with many apprentices and potentially a museum.

What about the affordable hives?

We are aiming to have the colonies ready for collection in July however this is fairly flexible as Beekeeping is extremely weather dependent.

On a normal year the parent colonies will start to be prepared from May. The bee breeds are a mixture of black, carniolan and buckfast.

Beekeepers at work - You could try it out yourselfThe queens will be naturally mated when weather permits. We will then nurture the baby colonies through the summer to make sure the new queen is laying and that they have reached the critical size required for surviving in winter.

The Generation Bee team will be contacting schools and beekeeping associations to offer the hives to those who can prove that they have the skills  to take care of the colonies.

For individuals we will ask for a letter from the President of the local Beekeeping Association confirming that the individual has successfully passed their training. The schools will have to prove that a competent beekeeper has agreed to care for the hive; this could be from their staff, a parent or a local volunteer.

The colonies will come in a British National polystyrene hive which is suitable for the extreme weather we have in Scotland, and offers a warm and dry home to the colony. The hive will come with a floor, brood box, deep frames, crown board and roof. As the colony is young the beekeeper shouldn’t expect a honey crop until next year. This will delay further costs as the super and queen excluder can be acquired the following year.

Our fabulous rewards

Any donation you can afford will be very gratefully received and we hope that your will enjoy the rewards we are offering. The fabulous e-books have been created by members of the team to share with you their knowledge of cooking with honey, candle making and homemade beauty products. The honey will be harvested this summer by Luisa, Jessie and Luis, bringing a taste of Scottish countryside to your kitchen along with inspiration from the Gourmet Drone recipe e-book.

If you feel like treating yourself or a loved one to a wonderful day out or weekend away then come to Dumfries for our workshops weekend in April. Luisa and John Lockwood, her fellow beekeeper and candlemaker, will be giving fascinating, fun and informative workshops about beekeeping, beauty products and candlemaking and you will get to meet our trainees Jessie and Louis as well as other team members Mareike, Michael, and Victoria so they can thank your in person for your support of the project.

The workshops will be held in the beautiful surroundings of Dumfries on the weekend of the 26th and 27th of April. To ensure that the workshops are personal and the teaching very high quality we will be limiting the numbers to a maximum of 10 people per workshop.

We will provide beekeeping suits and gloves for the beekeeping workshop but recommend that you to wear long sleeves, jeans, country boots and tie up long hair.

The most important thing :)

Visiting Dumfries and Galloway

Dumfries and Galloway is renowned for the beauty of its mountain, forest and coastal landscapes, for its wildlife, gastronomy and traditions. There are also many alternative businesses, artisans and communities. There is more than enough to spend a whole month visiting the region.

You can reach Dumfries by car, by train via Dumfries or Lockerbie stations and by coach from all around the UK (Stagecoachbus & Megabus).

There are lots of nice places to stay in the region. If you are looking for something original and alternative check out the huts at Maibie forest, just around the corner from where the workshops will be held: http://www.mabiehousehotel.co.uk/folder-23-continental-camping-huts

When you are not at the workshops there are loads of great things to do in D&G, we leave you with Luisa’s favourites:

You can follow the progess of our campaign here and also on Twitter or Facebook.

ONCE YOU HAVE PLEDGEDEMAIL GOLDEN.AGE.HONEY.CROWD@GMAIL.COMWITH YOUR TELEPHONE AND POSTAGE ADDRESSSO WE CAN DELIVER THE GIFTSAS SOON AS POSSIBLEIF WE REACH THE TARGET

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£5 or more

£5 Reward

ANGEL'S SMILE We would like to personally thank you over the phone. Give us a contact number and your email. We will also send you a personal Thank You email, along with an e-booklet with the story of how Luisa came to keep bees in Scotland and why it is so important to nurture a new generation of beekeepers.

£8 or more

£8 Reward

GOURMET DRONE Angel's smile + e-booklet with our Chef Jessie's scrumptious honey recipes from all around the world.

£15 or more

£15 Reward

INDUSTRIOUS WORKERS - UK DELIVERY ONLY Angel's smile + e-booklet by our friend, John Lockwood, professional candle maker, on how to make your own bees wax candles + delivery of beeswax and candle wick to make your own products

£15 or more

£15 Reward

QUEEN OF BEAUTY - UK DELIVERY ONLY Angel's smile + e-booklet by John Lockwood, Vicky, & other professional collaborators with their proven recipes for honey and beeswax-based beauty products + delivery of beeswax to make your own products.

£15 or more

£15 Reward

RIVER OF FLOWERS - UK DELIVERY ONLY Angel's smile + e-booklet with information on the best flowers for pollinators + delivery of a bag of pollinator friendly flowers seeds.

£30 or more

6 of 50 claimed

£30 Reward

DELIGHTS OF THE HIVE - UK DELIVERY ONLY Gourmet Drone + A taste of this year's harvest. A 227g jar of each of our unique Scottish Heather & Blossom honeys delivered to your door. - Blossom honey: Harvested throughout the summer from the abundant meadow flowers of South West Scotland. This floral honey which embodies the mild sweet spirit of summer is rich with nectar from clover, willowherb, lime trees, wild raspberry and brambles. - Scottish Heather Honey: With its strong, smoky flavour and distinct bite this honey is famous around the world as one of Scotland's outstanding gourmet products. Our's is harvested from heather growing wild on moorland slopes, it is the conoisseur's choice!

£35 or more

1 of 40 claimed

£35 Reward

BEAUTY PRODUCTS & CANDLE MAKING WORKSHOP. 2 hour workshop for 10 people by John Lockwood, professional beekeeper, beauty product and candle maker. Workshops will be held within walking distance of Dumfries, Scotland, on the weekend of 26-27 April at 10am and 1pm each day. There are a limited number of places for each session to be allocated on a first come, first serve basis following this campaign. You will learn to make a wide range of beeswax and honey based products including soap, lip balm, hand and body cream and furniture polish. You will also learn to make three types of beautiful, all-natural beeswax candles (types: rolled wax sheets, moulded and hand dipped). You will learn proven techniques and will be able to replicate what you have learned on your own. John will provide you with a list of recommended suppliers so you can continue to create wonderful candles and beauty products at home!

£35 or more

1 of 40 claimed

£35 Reward

BEEKEEPING WORKSHOP. A 2 hours hands on beekeeping course by Luisa, professional beekeeper. The workshop will be held on a site at walking distance from Dumfries, Scotland on the weekend of 26-27 April with sessions at 10am and 1pm each day. Places will be limited for each session, allocated on a first come, first serve basis following this campaign. You will be in a group of 10 at the apiary, wearing a beesuit and having the opportunity to touch and learn: How to find a good site for a beehive; How to light up a smoker; The different pieces of National equipment she has and how we use them; How to differentiate the inhabitants of the hive; What happens inside the hive throughout the seasons; How to recognise the pollen sources brought to the colony; How the honey is extracted; How to effectively treat the worst colony enemy: the varroa mite

£200 or more

0 of 5 claimed

£200 Reward

THE REAL THING: BEEKEEPER EXPERIENCE Come and join Luisa, a professional beekeeper, for a full day of beekeeping on her apiaries on the Solway coast and rolling hills of Galloway, in Scotland. You will be one of the team. We will start at Luisa's home with a filling breakfast before heading out to the countryside by 10 am. We normally have a cold lunch somewhere near the apiaries and keep on beekeeping until dusk. You are more than welcome to stay for dinner with us as well. Date to be agreed between you and Luisa but could be Monday to Sunday from May to September 2014.

£500 or more

0 of 5 claimed

£500 Reward

BUSINESS IS BUZZING. A company event for your team on a private beekeeping workshop within walking distance of Dumfries, a public thank you over social media and mailing lists, and your logo on our website as a Bee Generator. Each workshop will be for up to 10 people and held at the apiary. A fantastic team-building opportunity.

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