Ever wondered what happens in a hive? We care for two colonies of Bees that live in hives on the roof of St Peter’s House. We’ve named the two hives ‘Valentine’ and ‘Ambrose’ after the two patron Saints of Beekeeping. Bees play a vital role in our eco-system helping to pollenate plants and provide us with food. They’ve been around for far longer than humans but at this point in the history of our planet they need our help. Come and get involved with the Bees learn about the Superorganism that is the colony, meet the Queen, her 60,000 workers and her 200 Drones and once a year get to taste the honey.
Once a year we run a Bee Keeping for beginners courses to learn the basis of bee and hive care, and – when you’re ready – take you up to help care for the bees.
Beekeeping at SPH has two parts to it, there is a theory and practical element to it. Firstly there is the theory which is a fortnightly 45 minute class that will introduce you to some of the basics of Beekeeping:
Welcome – The Bee
The basic equipment
Natural History of the Honeybee
The Beekeeping Year
Beekeeping – Disease, Poisoning & Pests
Then once the season begins we visit the bees once a week. Let’s face it after all the work they do, the bees deserve some serious TLC, so we visit on a Wednesday during their ‘awake’ summer season to keep the hives in order.
The Bee-Keeping volunteer opportunities at St Peter’s House are seasonal, and run from May – October.
We can only take 4 people up to the roof each week, to ensure that every hour given is worthwhile and that every visit is safe and well-planned. We can have 16 volunteers on our ‘active’ list, but any other names will be added to a waiting list.
Due to the high demand for bee-keeping opportunities, we ask that all volunteers only sign up if they can reliably attend their allotted sessions. Bee-Keeping sessions run every Wednesday afternoon from 12:30 -1:30pm.
We will provide safety training and supervision at all times, and ask that you’d follow guidance carefully at all times. We’ve made the experience as safe as possible, but we’ve all still managed to get the odd sting here or there! Before you visit the Bees you’ll need to sign a health and safety waiver form and agree to our health and safety policy for Bee Keeping.
All the equipment you’ll need will be provided, but please come dressed sensibly. This means long sleeves and trousers, and covered feet (wellies are ideal). We’ll provide the bee suits!