THE BEE CENTRE

Ethical Beekeeping

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ETHICAL BEEKEEPING

We keep bees for their benefit and that of the environment. We work to enhance the dwindling population of native and near native honey bees in Britain. Our main focus is not the commercial production of honey.

OUR Bees

Our bees enhance biodiversity and help to pollinate a wide range of plants that are important to a healthy environment and a sustainable society

The Honey

We only remove honey from our bees when it is a genuine surplus. By doing this, we ensure the bees always have more than enough food to sustain the hive, whilst also providing the bees with the room they need to continue expanding their colony

A Little Help

Occasionally we will feed struggling colonies with sugar if they have been unable to produce sufficient honey for themselves. This sometimes happens when weather conditions have been poor or when we rescue a swarm later in the season and they struggle to establish a self-sustaining colony before their food becomes scarce

NO CHEMICALS

We avoid chemical treatment of pests and diseases wherever possible; preferring to use natural treatments. Occasionally we may need to use chemical methods to initially treat a rescued swarm which has high levels of pest infestation, but this is a last resort and an emergency measure
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Sustainability

Sustainability is at the heart of what we do. Our work to promote locally bred, near-native bees and ethical beekeeping practices lead to positive environmental improvements and behaviour change. To deliver against our objectives we pursue an ethos of “Small Footprint – Big Impact”; applying a range of approaches to deliver maximum benefits for minimum resource use. These include…

Breeding sustainable populations of localised, 

near-native honeybees which are better suited to our climate, forage and seasonal variations

 

Working with the public sector and private landowners to create habitat and pollinator corridors which benefit bees and other pollinators and enhance biodiversity. 

Using hives made from recycled or repurposed materials

Applying life cycle thinking to the procurement of materials and services with a view to minimising the overall environmental impacts of our choices. Providing reuse opportunities for our packaging and other ‘consumables’

Avoiding chemical treatments for disease control and pest management

Creating positive environmental action by leveraging the actions of our customers and providing a range of products and services to support those actions at many levels

Leaving our bees with sufficient honey to ensure that they overwinter safely and enter Spring strongly and in good health

Encouraging and supporting beekeepers to develop their own localised  honeybee stocks, so reducing reliance on the importation of unsuitable honeybee breeds and potential pests and diseases.

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