Beckfield Apiary are planning to run a Rent a beehive scheme starting from January 2016.
The scheme is aimed at novice beekeepers who have been saying that they want to "keep bees in my garden" but they don't know where to start and are scared of the cost and their lack of training. The scheme is designed to ensure that new beekeepers learn from scratch what they need to do to support honey bees through learning and practice with an experienced beekeeper.
Starting from January 2016, families, friend and business will start a programme through the rent a beehive scheme where they will receive weekly training and assessment from Beckfield Apairy. In the winter months, training will be in the form of online webinars and reading to understand the making of the hive, the layout of the national beehive, the lifecycle of honey bees, infections, diseases and parasites that affect honey bees and colonies life expectancy. In spring, the novice beekeepers will build a plat packed hive and treat it ready for a colony of bees. They will make everything needed to house the bees and protect them from the weather and predators. At this point, the novice beekeepers will learn about hive inspections and record keeping aswell as introducing bees to a hive.
THIS IS THE POINT THAT THE NOVICE BEEKEEPERS WILL RECIEVE THEIR COLONY OF BEES.
This is also the point that the novice beekeepers dreams will come true and they will be saying I "keep bees in my garden" to all their friends.
Each week, the novice beekeepers will inspect their hive with a training beekeeper from Beckfield Apiary to ensure that the bees are healthy and on track to produce honey at the end of the season. Training will continue online to ensure that the novice beekeepers learn how to identify, prevent and collect swarms as well as maintaining food supply if they live in an area where there is a May/June or June/July gap for forage.
Weekly inspections and record keeping will continue throughout the summer months and supers will be provided along with frames so that honey can be stored by the bees. At the end of the season, the not so novice beekeepers will learn how to extract honey and close the hive for the winter. The beekeepers will have now had extensive beekeeper training both knowledge and practical which will ensure that they are confident enough to keep their own bees in the future. The beekeepers will attend a Winter Celebration of their achievement and decide if they want to participate in the scheme the following year.
The scheme is only available to people in the Manchester area and 100% commitment is needed to ensure that the bees are looked after. Fees apply but are extremely competitive as the scheme includes the renting of a hive and bees along with training throughout the year online and in person with a beekeeper. The cost throughout the year for everything is £5 per week with a total yearly cost of £240. You not only get the training and practical experience, you get the honey as well.