It's All About The Bees

by The Bee Geek in Stockbridge, England, United Kingdom

It's All About The Bees

£54

raised of £5,000 target
5
supporters
1% 23 days left
Flexible funding – this project will receive all pledges made by 23rd April 2020 at 2:09pm

Help to expand our current native and locally adapted bee breeding programme taking us the next level so we can accept bigger opportunities

by The Bee Geek in Stockbridge, England, United Kingdom

The Story So Far

In 2010 what would become a passion began. I was contacted to rescue a wild colony of honey bees from a building which was about to be demolished and from that day, rescuing has developed into wanting to spread knowledge and interest in the healing and other beneficial qualities of honey, venom and propolis. As of the start of 2020, I am lucky to tend to around 20 colonies of mostly mixed strain honey bees. It is now, with the introduction of producing many honey-based products, time to push my hobby into a brighter light, raise awareness for our native bee, and promote the versatile nature of the wonderful honey.

It is vital, not only for the British bee, but also for our local crops, that we nurture the humble honey bee. Through this crowdfunder, I hope to be able to grow the colony numbers, purchase sustainable housing for them, and ensure as close to zero waste as it possible to achieve. If you support me, not only will you receive a fund appropriate reward from the bees, but you will be part of a legacy which will hopefully continue to benefit our families for future generations. 

Why this bee, why now ?

The British Native Honey Bee (Apis Mellifera Mellifera, or British Black Bee) was once the predominant strain of domestically kept honey bee in the UK. However, following a catastrophic disease in the 1950's,she was all but eliminated. It is commonly believed this disease arrived in the UK carried by Queen Bees imported from Italy. The AMM strain is known to be highly adaptable to our ever-changing UK climate. They are able to fly at lower temperatures which increases the foraging opportunities and this, along with their fortitude to withstand winter with fewer stores, as is an increasing occurrence in this country, makes this strain a bee fit for the future.

Seeing the huge decline in bee numbers a monk, named Brother Adam, worked tirelessly to rebuild the population by cross breeding imported strains. We know, from genetic research of the descendants of those bees, that the original Black Bee make up is still present and the desirable qualities, can once again be brought forward.

In 2019 over 20,000 Queens were imported to the UK mainly from Southern Europe. While this may be seen as something of a success for the bee population, those imported bees do not have the resilience of native and locally adapted bees and, in increasing the bee population by almost 35% from 2017/18, it poses a clear risk to the UK biodiversity and biosecurity.

We almost lost our bee population once, in pledging to this crowdfunder, you are helping to raise awareness, and spread education, to prevent a similar environmental catastrophe for the future.

How will the honey bee numbers increase with you ?

Of the 20 established colonies currently thriving, 8 have had AMM queens successfully introduced. As the 2020 season starts my aim is to divide my existing colonies. All of the new colonies will have an AMM queen introduced which will be selectively bred from my original Mother colonies. The breeding programme will be a combination of open mating and employing Instrumental Insemination techniques. These techniques and results will be passed forward to other new and existing bee keepers to encourage them to breed from existing UK stock rather that purchasing imported Queens.

Where will my money go?

When you decide to participate in this crowdfunder, not only will you receive my humble thanks, but your support will allow me to boost colony numbers more rapidly than I otherwise could. Future hives purchased will be constructed from recycled wood (scaffolding boards)  to maintain an environmentally friendly aspect. Select hive products such as traditional dipped candles, food wraps, and cosmetics are already being produced with help from the existing bees. With your help, this will increase to incorporate a wider range of products as well as developing preserve and confectionary items.

More honey and more products mean a greater revenue can be invested back into the expansion of the colony numbers. This will establish an Instrumental Insemination Programme which will offer greater stability for the project as a whole. Following from this, we should be able to assist in the sale of bees to new and established bee keepers. The aim is to achieve a 100 colony target within 3-5 years.

To continue the growth of knowledge and understanding, I offer free school and youth group visits which are a lot of fun and positive feedback from the children and parents is fantastic. With your funding, we will be able to expand the teaching and education programme for schools, groups, and the wider general public, focusing on practical sustainable living and environmental awareness. Funding will also enable the purchase of better teaching aids and visuals. There will also be a YouTube channel, complementing my Facebook and Instagram platforms, which will offer practical tutorials on beekeeping techniques, crafting projects, product reviews and comparisons, and project updates.

This project works closely with local land owners with a view to boosting and supporting existing hedgerows and wildflowers. We have already successfully planted over an acre of wildflower meadow locally and have received expressions of interest from significant land owners, one being a rail network. Your funding will better enable this phase of the project to continue. Giving us the resources to purchase necessary equipment.

I am fortunate to have been offered several exciting opportunities but this next step is a bigger leap than I am able to achieve. Your financial support would enable this project to reach new heights. 

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£65 or more

0 of 15 claimed

Bee Keeper Experience Day

Join me for a hands on day with the Bees. This is a day of theory and practical hands on teaching. Lunch at the Honesty Tea Rooms and entry into Houghton Lodge Gardens is included. Additional garden entry for guests can be arranged at a reduced price. All equipment is provided and an Attendance Certificate issued with photos of you during your day. RRP £75.00

£6 or more

1 of 50 claimed

Jar Of Honey

Enjoy one of 7 varieties of Honey.You will receive an 8oz jar of unprocessed Honey. All of our honey is raw filtered and cold processed so every scrap of natural goodness is retained. A personalised message can be included at no extra charge making this a perfect gift option. Our honey is packaged in eco friendly Kraft boxes and includes a wooden honey dipper.

£8 or more

1 of 30 claimed

Eco Beeswax Food Wraps (3 pack)

Eco Beeswax Food Wraps ,Trio Pack. Handmade using certified food grade UK Beeswax ,pine resin Jojoba Oil and 100% cotton. This pack contains 3 wraps, one each of small (10cm x 15cm), medium (15cm x 20cm) and large (25cm x 33cm) in a Kraft band package. RRP £9.50

£10 or more

0 of 20 claimed

Pair Of 8ins Hand Dipped Beeswax Candles

A boxed pair of traditional hand dipped tapered Beeswax candles. These are made with wax from our own hives in Hampshire and are 8 inches in length, these will give over 10hrs of burn time. Elegant, eco friendly and air purifying.Presented in a high quality Kraft box. A personalised message can be included at no extra charge. RRP £13.00

£15 or more

0 of 20 claimed

Honey Trio

Three 8oz jars of Honey presented in a Kraft carry box. Unprocessed and cold filtered honey in three varieties. Choose from our Infused Speciality Range or Straight From The Hive varieties. RRP 18.00

£25 or more

0 of 20 claimed

Beeswax Lip Balm Collection

Handmade and fully safety assessed these moisturising flavoured lip balms are all you need for the perfect pout. You will receive one each of the following flavours, Banana, Caramel, Honey, Lime, Mint, Strawberry, Mango and Vanilla

£40 or more

0 of 20 claimed

Eco Beeswax Food Wraps (10 pack)

Eco Beeswax Food Wraps Home Pack of 10 wraps. Handmade using foodgrade UK Beeswax, pine resin, JoJoba Oil and 100% Cotton. Washable, Reusable and Recyclable. Ditch those single use plastics and cling film for these attractive and environmentally friendly alternatives. With correct use wraps will last 12 upto months. This pack contains 4 small (15cm x 20cm), 3 medium (20cm x 25cm) and 3 large (25cm x 33cm). Packaged in a Kraft band. RRP 48.00

£100 or more

0 of 10 claimed

Intensive 3 Day Course

Beginning With Bees course. This course follows the BBKA curriculum and offers 2 days of class room based theory teaching covering all the basic skills and information you will need to start your beekeeping journey. This is followed by a further 2 days of hands on tuition to put your new skills into practice. Lunch and entry into Houghton Lodge Gardens is included. Garden entry for your guests can also be arranged at reduced cost. RRP £140.00

£150 or more

0 of 5 claimed

Adopt A Hive (Standard)

You will receive an Welcome Pack which includes an Adoption Certificate (valid for 1 year), 2 packets of RHS bee friendly seeds, bee literature and three 8oz jars of honey. You will also receive seasonal updates and photographs of your bees and choose a name for your Queen to be displayed alongside your name on the hive. At the end of your year you will also receive 10% of the full honey crop from your colony, jarred and labelled.

£300 or more

0 of 5 claimed

Adopt a Hive (Premium)

As for the Standard Package, with Welcome pack, Adoption Certificate, seasonal updates and photographs, RHS seeds ,and the chance to name your Queen. In addition you will receive five 8oz jars of honey, and 15% of the full years honey crop (minimum 12 jars) at the end of your year. In addition you will also be welcomed twice to visit your bees and get hands on. Equipment and lunch at the Honesty Tea Rooms is included for two.

£1,000 or more

0 of 5 claimed

Corporate Sponsorship

Support our business and we will do all we can to promote yours for a full 12 months. This will include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter ,YouTube, blog and live events

Let's make 'It's All About The Bees' happen

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