Beekeeper for a Day Experience

Last Monday I was a Beekeeper for a Day! I attended the experience day by Bees for Business at their farm in Lincolnshire so I thought it would be interesting to write a blog post sharing all of the things we did and saw during the experience – along with some photos of course!

I arrived at 9:30am ready to start the experience day, where I met Jez & Caroline, the lovely husband & wife team who run the farm, apiaries and workshops. Their farm is actually the world’s first CarbonNeutral honey farm - by switching to a 100% renewable energy supplier, moving to 100% recyclable packaging for their award-winning honey, reducing identified carbon emissions created as a result of transport or deliveries and off-setting all remaining carbon emissions with a contribution to renewable energy, the business has gained CarbonNeutral status endorsed by the Carbon Footprint Standard – an internationally recognised standard for establishing low carbon products.

You may recognise Jez from TV as he has been on BBC1's Saturday Kitchen and Saturday Morning with James Martin, but his first passions are nature and conservation. Bees for Business have committed to install 250 new beehives over the next 5 years and, partnering with land owners, to sow 250 acres of organic, bee-friendly flower seeds on unused land, enhancing the environment visually whilst improving biodiversity and providing vital food sources for pollinators.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The workshops are all fully-inclusive so there was a lovely selection of food and drink to start off the day. We started with an introduction to the farm and the two priorities on the to-do list for the day were to check on new Queens that had been introduced to a couple of colonies and also to do some cleaning of some hive boxes which helps to reduce the risk of disease in the hives. As a beekeeper the to-do list for the day is always changing so each workshop is going to be a little bit different – you might even build or paint a hive!

Then it was time to get suited up and take a look in the hives to see if the introduction of Queens had been successful. There was only five of us in the group so we all got to see really up-close into the hive to spot the workers and drones – but unfortunately no Queens which was really sad for Jez as it meant that the colonies had rejected the Queen’s he’d put in.  

We spotted bees doing the waggle dance, buzzing in and out of the hive returning with sacs full of pollen and even saw a bee birth – it was so fascinating to watch! After we looked inside a couple of hives and learnt about the set-up and how the bees make beeswax and honey, we took a tour around the pollinator-friendly gardens which were full of flowers and plants that bees and others pollinators love. There was phacelia, echinacea, thistles, roses, lavender, thyme, mint and plenty more for pollinators to feed on. It’s so important to provide plants and flowers for bees as it’s vital for their survival – even if you have a small garden or a tiny window box – something is better than nothing!


Then it was time for lunch - homemade pizza! I filled mine with chorizo, tomatoes and sweetcorn topped with plenty of cheese and into the wood-fired pizza oven it went. A few minutes later I had a delicious pizza ready to eat and enjoy in the sunshine.

After lunch it was time for a honey taste test (which I epically failed at – sorry Jez!!) – funnily enough, honey is not my strong point haha! But I did redeem myself by winning the quiz which was all about honeybees and beehives. Did you know that the oldest honey ever found is 2,000 years old?

After the quiz and honey tasting we had about 20 minutes left so we had a look inside one more hive to finish off a wonderful day. I learnt so much about what it’s like to become a beekeeper – every day is so different and it takes a lot of hard work but is rewarding in the end when you see the bees making all the yummy honey!

We left with a lovely goody bag which has a booklet all about how to make your garden as pollinator friendly as possible and a jar of delicious honey from Bees&Co.

This is just a quick run-down of the day as I don’t want to go into too much detail as it’s much better to go and visit yourself! If you want to attend the Beekeeper for a Day workshop of any of their other courses/workshops, visit the Bees for Business website and use code NECTARBUMBLE for up to £40.00 off!

Book your place today!