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Talks to choose: interactive sessions, adults, schools & young people

I have categorised the talks just to make it easier to choose one that is relevant to your group. There is some overlap between the groups so you might want to read down the whole list, if in doubt please get in touch to discuss.

Happy to give talks over Zoom.

Details of cost, what information I can bring and what to expect are at the end of the section.

General Interest Topics and suitable for Wildlife Groups.

Gardening for Bees - Bees & Flowers (1 hour)
  • Bee Identification
  • What humans need
  • What flowers need
  • What bees need
  • Why bees need gardeners
  • What gardeners can do for bees

The Beekeeping Year – from hive to honey (1 hour)
  • Who is who in your garden
  • Honeybees and man
  • How a beehive works
  • Honeybee lifecycle
  • The Beekeeper’s year
  • Hive products
    • Honey
    • Wax
    • Propolis

Sweetness & Light - Our Relationship with Honey Bees (1 hour)
  • Honey Bee History and evolution
  • History of human/honey bee interaction
  • Honey Bee history in the UK
  • Bee phrases we use in every day speech

Bee Identification (1 hour plus time to identify bees outside if appropriate)
  • Who is who in your garden
  • Bees & flowers
  • Learn to identify the 7 common bumblebees in the UK

Bees and Orchards (1 hour)
  • Who is pollinating your fruit trees
  • Bees & flowers – evolution
  • Plum & apple development
  • Fruit tree flowers & bees
  • Managing you orchard to maximise insect pollination
  • Managing your orchard to maximise bee population

Bees and Hay Meadows (1 hour) – you do not need to have a hay meadow to enjoy this talk
  • Bees & flowers – evolution
  • Summary of hay meadow/mini meadow in garden information
  • Who is pollinating flowers in hay meadows
  • How bees and hay meadow flowers interact
  • How to manage hay meadows and mini garden meadows to benefit pollinators

Beekeeping Groups

Bee Stings (1 hour)
  • Bees in warfare
  • History of protective beekeeping clothing
  • Anatomy and physiology of the bee sting
  • How to handle bees to reduce the risk of stinging
  • Management of someone who has been stung
  • Sensible precautions at apiary meetings and visits

Bee Safe (1 hour 30 mins minimum, can take 3 hours if participants very keen)
  • Interactive/practical session
  • Aims to make a beekeeping groups think through safety issues at meetings
  • First Aid teaching and practice in small groups
  • Learn about managing chest pain, falls, burns & bee stings
  • Generate a plan for your group in case of an accident

Hive Defence (1 hour)
  • How bees defend themselves and the hive
  • Bee enemies
  • How to handle bees to reduce the risk of stinging
  • Propolis and plant resins and their role in defence against bee diseases
  • N.B. this talk does NOT cover the topic of bee stings – that is in the Bee Sting talk

Bees’ Wax & New Comb (1 hour)
  • Historical uses
  • How bees make wax
  • How bees build comb
  • How to maximise new comb production
  • Preparing wax for showing
  • Making wax blocks and candles for showing

The Bees’ Needs (1 hour)
  • Bee Nutrition – health and immunity, management through the seasons
  • Hive management
    • Colony size v. hive capacity through the seasons
    • Box volume, supering
  • Warm v. Dry
  • When to inspect colonies and when to leave well alone

Wasps & Hornets (1 hour)
  • Mini quiz - insect recognition
  • Understanding life cycles
  • Why we should love our native wasps & hornets
  • Asian hornet
  • Strategies for beekeepers to cope with Asian hornet

The Honey Show (1 hour)
  • Standards for showing
  • Preparing honey
  • Preparing wax
  • Making wax blocks and candles for showing
  • Baking for showing

Preparing your Bees for Winter (an interactive session, about 1 hour)
  • Hive preparation
  • Hive organisation and management
  • Feeding bees
  • Management for healthy bees so you have colonies alive in the spring

Teaching Talks

(mostly about 20 mins each)
Beginners or basic exam – Introducing Beekeeping
  • Inspecting a colony
  • Life cycle
  • The beekeeping year
  • Hives, hive stands, beekeeping equipment & clothing
  • Honey and wax
  • Apiary hygiene and bee disease
  • Siting an apiary
  • Picture Quiz

Intermediate Beekeeping
  • Swarming
  • Artificial Swarms & Making Nuclei
  • Nosema and New Comb
  • Varroa & Integrated Pest Management

Gap Fillers (10 – 15 mins)
  • Wounds and honey
  • Sniffer bees
  • Bee flight

Schools & Young People

  • The beekeeping year
  • Bee Hives
  • Bee Life Cycle
  • Pollination
  • Stripy insects & mimicry – bees, wasps & flies

Teachers and others who would like to:-
  • Spend the morning learning about bees
  • Spend the afternoon looking at honeybees in the hive

Please get in touch; these days have to run when the weather is warm enough to work outside with the bees. We arrange these sessions at a mutually convenient time. Obviously we lend you the equipment you need.

Useful Information - what to expect

We both lead busy lives and I work some evenings so we may get very busy, sometimes we have to say ‘no’ and sometimes we may lack flexibility but we will do our best.

All money raised from the fees you pay supports BeeEd, the Bee Reserve and our teaching. A talk (as above, with or without honey and mead tasting) costs £50 and mileage is charged at 40p per mile. I will bring my own laptop computer, projector, screen, table and extension lead.

Usually talks or sessions in school or with young people are FREE; if I come a long way I may ask for 40p per mile to cover travel.

If it is acceptable to you I would like to put a penny box out for donations, I raise money for a good cause each year. In 2018 I am raising money to provide small grants for young people who need financial assistance with bee and wildlife projects.

With introductions and questions allow an extra 15 - 30 minutes on top of the times above and I would like 20 -30 mins to set up before a talk. In addition I am happy to bring different honeys for a ‘honey tasting’ after the talk. If you are very keen I can also bring some mead for you to taste but that can be limited by supply.

I usually bring just a few items for sale: cards, ‘Gardening for Bees’ booklets, recipe sheets and honey and wax items if I have them available. I buy items from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and sell them on at cost price, this raises money for the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. After talks I can provide information about beekeeping courses and associations and I can show you how to identify the bees you will see in your garden in the summer if you wish – just tell me what you want. Often I can bring real bees in a glass observation hive.

Young people are welcome at my talks, as a rule, I think those approaching secondary school age and older and who have some interest in the natural world are most likely to enjoy a talk. Let me know if many young people are likely to be present so I can modify a talk appropriately and bring a microscope and other props to add interest.

I am happy to come into schools and young people’s groups; both my husband and I have Enhanced Level DBS check certificates and First Aid Certificates.

In the summer we can organise showing you round the bee reserve, we can offer half day or full day ‘bee days’ for limited numbers; a talk and look in a honeybee hive – these days are weather dependent. We also do ‘bee identification’ afternoons in late July and early August. We are close to the National Trust Park End Moss Nature Reserve, you might like to visit both nature reserves for a day out.