The Bee Centre
We are a multi-award-winning, centre of excellence for bee-related education, breeding and husbandry. We provide general education and awareness regarding honeybees and beekeeping. We also deliver our award-winning ‘Bee Experience’, attracting visitors from around the world. We run beekeeping courses ranging from beginner to advanced levels. These practical, hands-on courses are well respected, professionally run and receive excellent feedback. ‘The Bee Centre’ is also the regional training hub for beekeepers and bee farmers wishing to gain professional qualifications through the Bee Farmers’ Association.
To develop a robust, near-native honeybee population nationally, which…
– Demonstrably adds value to the economy
– Provides opportunities for social engagement
– Enhances public understanding of our reliance on the natural world
Develop a robust, near-native honeybee population nationally, which…
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 enhance biodiversity and help to pollinate a wide range of plants that are important to a healthy environment and a sustainable society
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 nutritious 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.
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.
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, where possible, 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.