Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Get a Real Buzz out of Beekeeping

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Get a Real Buzz out of Beekeeping

Article excerpt

IN THE UK alone, the number of honey bee colonies halved between 1985 and 2005 due to changes in land use, the varroa mite, and cold, wet summers. To help tackle the problem, organisations like the National Trust have introduced 45 new honey bee colonies, with training and support provided by their local beekeeping associations or experienced beekeepers.

But families can do their bit at home too and get a real buzz out of a new hobby!

You can even get stung into action by becoming a NT bee buddy, at one of its sites with beekeeping properties.

But bee-keeping expert and TV personality James Dearsley, above, says there are many ways parents and their children can get involved in beekeeping.

"It depends on the level of involvement they want," he says.

"If you just want to learn more about bees then the best thing to do is to grow plenty of plants which are loved by bees, then you can keep a log of what sort of bees are coming to your garden as a result.

"But if your family wants to get more actively involved and keep bees, then a course is the best way to go.

"There are usually taster courses which can be carried out in little more than a day as well as intensive 10-week courses. Either way, you will find out an awful lot in that time and there are wonderful resources on the Bee Craft Website."

James continues: "Children can have as little or as much involvement as they like. You can get children's beekeeping clothes which fit children from around five years old. Then it is really up to the child and how comfortable they are around bees.

"If they are not that comfortable, then the wonderful job of honey extraction at the end of the season can be a joy. That can be a real family event and a lot of fun for everyone."

He says bees are important to everything around us. …

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