Thursday, 21 January 2016

So, I went beekeeping...

If you know me, you also know my love for bees - saving them, admiring them, learning about them. I cried when I found out Sam had booked me onto an 'introduction to bee keeping' course at our local farm, and when the day finally rolled around I was buzzing with excitement. Excuse the pun.

I wore a jumper with a bee on it, and I was early, and I sat around a big table with nine other people. There was an old guy who had something to say about everything, and a lady who rescues battery chickens and names them after cartoon characters. If you ever watched Gladiators, in the 90s, the guy who played 'Warrior' was there too with his wife, an avid horse-rider. There was a young guy who didn't say a word all day, and a couple who'd travelled from Liverpool. The chicken lady had a friend with her, and there was another woman who left at lunch time without saying bye.

We were talked through a powerpoint - where bees came from, what sort of bees we have in the UK, what equipment you need if you keep bees yourself. We learnt about aaaalll the things you can do with bee-made products (eat them, burn them, wear them) and discovered how to tell the difference between a worker bee, a drone and the queen. We listened as the bee keeper told us the roles of these different bees, and all the clever things they get up to.

It was fascinating, because bees are so much cleverer than us, and than you'd expect them to be; at night they sleep in rows (I like to picture them with tiny red blankets) and they will use up every last bit of space working away. They forage, in the warmer months, and in the winter they eat fondant that bee keepers place at the top of the hives.

After lunch (sandwiches and chips) we made our way to the hives. It was freezing and muddy but I was so excited to see the hives in action. We saw the fondant, mostly eaten up, and the little bits of rubbish the bees had pushed out that had fallen to the very bottom layer. It was too cold to see the bees themselves, but in March the bee keeper is going to ring and invite us to join him for the hive inspections.

It was a lovely day and I came away even more adamant that we need to save these tiny little wonders. Without bees, we'd die off pretty soon. Do what you can - buy local honey, plant all the flowers, offer up any spare land you have for bee keepers to place more hives.

Want to see a bee-themed wishlist? 'course you do


  1. I loved this! It was so unique, i've always thought bees were so interesting and cute flying around.

    lovely post,

  2. How cool! Sounds like you had fun.
    I'm a geek like that for hedgehogs - I can't wait to get my one this summer.

    | | bloglovin' |

  3. I'm so glad more and more people are fascinated with bees. I took my mum to a bee-keeping course a few years ago and ever since we've both been hooked. We do our best to attract more bees to our little garden with our small bee house and wildflowers. Can't wait to start seeing them come out again :)

    Tamsyn-Elizabeth | Peaches and Bear

  4. This sounds like such a unique day and it sounds as though you had a lovely time too :) xx

    Yasmina | The July Journal

  5. As a girl with a bee tattoo I am SO jealous of this experience!