Beekeeper Taster Experience
This experience is for those looking for a lighter touch as an introduction to beekeeping. You’ll work alongside our Head Beekeepers as they carry out some of their beekeeping duties on a regular hive inspection day.
What to Expect:
Your day will start with a talk introducing the life of the honeybee, differentiating them from wasps and bumble bees and a brief whizz through a beekeeper’s year. Next, into full beekeeping suits and off to inspect the hives. During this session you will be able to handle a frame of bees, look for eggs and larvae and try to spot the Queen in the colony. Our beekeepers will point out honey stores, pollen grains and help you to identify the different castes of bees within the hive.
Once finished, tea and cake will follow with a talk, ‘Beyond the Bees’ which will look at what else beekeepers can do with their wax and honey. There will be an opportunity to purchase souvenirs and gifts at the end of your visit.
Beekeeper for a Day
A full-on day of beekeeping alongside our head beekeepers. This course is perfect for those who are fascinated by the super-organism that is the honeybee but want to develop their understanding of the honeybee beyond the hive.
What to Expect:
Each session will be unique not only to the participant but also to the bees and what they are up to on the day you visit. Whilst planning ahead is always ideal, one can never tell if a swarm will arrive in the apiary mid-visit and need to be dealt with! The day will start with a gentle talk introducing participants to the world of the honey bee, usually with a cup of tea. Following this, you will suit up in a full beekeeping suit and take a closer look, both inside and out, of a working colony. During this you will learn about the different castes of bees that make up a colony and their role in keeping the colony alive, you’ll observe them doing their jobs and going about their business of feeding larvae, bringing in pollen or attending the Queen as she lays her eggs.
After this initial look at a colony, you will work alongside our head beekeepers, conducting hive inspections. This will involve handling a frame of bees yourself, if you wish, and looking for eggs, larvae and trying to spot the ever elusive Queen in the hive. The head beekeepers will point out pollen and food stores and talk their way through the inspection, including the importance of maintaining good apiary health and hygiene. Questions are always welcomed.
Following this session, a brief talk on the phenomenon of the honeybee swarm before heading back to the house for a light Ploughman’s lunch.
After lunch the afternoon will be spent looking at honey extraction or jarring honey and preparing it for sale. You might have the chance to spin out the honey yourself or make your own jar of honey to take home.
The afternoon will finish with a cup of tea, piece of cake and a short talk, ‘Beyond the Bees’. After this you can look at the other products our bees help to produce and purchase souvenirs of your visit if you wish.
This is a working apiary, and there will be bees in the apiary and on their flight-paths to and from the nectar and pollen. Participants must wear long-sleeved clothing and bring wellies or sturdy ankle boots. Ankles must be protected so socks should be able to tuck over trousers. We will provide you with a suitable, protective beekeeping suit and gloves but we cannot guarantee you will not get stung. We will of course do our best to ensure you don’t get stung! If you have allergies to bee stings, unfortunately, these experiences are not suitable for you.
Our apiary is sited in Little Canfield, and postcode and directions will be provided following a booking. There’s a short walk, across a field from the car-park and the terrain can be uneven in places so please take care.
Experience vouchers are non-refundable and all experiences are weather dependent. The organisers refuse the right to change the date of experiences if the weather conditions are inclement to inspecting and opening beehives. Should an experience be cancelled, the date will be rescheduled, and a new date offered.