Bees Needs': North West case studies
Beekeeping in Schools
Beekeeping thoughout the UK desperately needs to attract and retain younger beekeepers. Taking the bees to a school or keeping them there takes an enormous amount of work, time and effort but close contact with honeybees offers so much to the children in ways that are immeasurable and can stay with them for life. Kendal Beekeepers have been supporting local School Governor Jacqui Cottam to do exactly that at Heron Hill Primary school in Cumbria.
The BBKA supports schools who want to learn about beekeeping with an online Bees in the Curriculum package. Associations that want to support a school can use these materials in talks that they give. We will be adding ideas and resources for fundraising to help establish school apiaries to our website in the coming months. Beekeeping leads to a closer observation of the natural world, an appreciation for nature itself and a passion for preserving it.
Over the winter of 2016 Jacqui worked with Kendal BKA Education Officer Dr Julia Piggott to plan the site of the apiary and how it could be safely incorporated in the school curriculum. It was built in Spring 2017 and populated with bees and the first 10 pupils pased their Junior Beekeeper Assessments designed by the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) in June. Jacqui said, “7 were current Heron Hill children, 8-11, and 3 were past pupils so ‘bitten by the beekeeping bug’ they were coming back every week for bee club! “The BBKA sends an external assessor to the school and the young beekeepers had done an amazing range of projects to pass their junior assessments from self-build hives, Mayan beehives compared to a National Hive , an anatomically correct model of a Queen bee, an educational DVD to teach other young people about beekeeping and even weather research about how many days the Cumbrian bees have to forage which was ‘depressing and really interesting at the same time….so much rain!’ The whole school have gone bee mad.”
Barnoldswick in Bloom, Lancashire
Entry to North West in Bloom competition...
Reused plastic bottles paired with irrigation tubes and pollinator-friendly plants became a living ‘bee wall' at the Rainhall Centre, designed by college students as part of Barnoldswick in Bloom activities. Planters with the same buzzing theme line the wall, alongside a bug friendly hotel. This is just one of the planting schemes in the town aimed at encouraging pollinators. ‘We try and make sure every scheme is bee-friendly and ensure there are early and late sources of food for them,’ explains group volunteer David Whipp. Barnoldswick also has its own ‘Buzz Stop’ – a bus stop complete with pollinator-friendly signage explaining the plight of bees and the need to provide them with food and shelter.
Get Cumbria Buzzing
Delivered by Cumbria Wildlife Trust ‘Get Cumbria Buzzing!’ is a three-year partnership project (2019-2022) which aims to increase the abundance and diversity of pollinators across northwest Cumbria, connecting and creating habitats along ecological networks.
Working closely with partners, local communities, and residents, we aim to create over 115 hectares of wildflower-rich habitat for pollinators, at over 62 sites across our project area. Creating stepping stones of habitat will help link natural environments and green spaces together, enabling our pollinators to travel more freely across the landscape.