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Beekeeping and bee centric talks available from Bee Ed

Bee Ed offer a wide range of talks available to those with beekeeping experience or just a passing interest in bees. These can be adapted to meet most peoples' needs.

Bee Stings (1hour 15 mins)
  • 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 (1hour 30 mins minimum, can take longer 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 (1hour 15mins)
  • 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

Bees’ Wax (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 Honey Show (1 hour 10 mins)
  • 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 1hr)
  • Hive preparation
  • Hive organisation and management
  • Feeding bees
  • Management for healthy bees so you have colonies alive in the spring

Gardening for Bees (1hr 15mins) *
  • 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 (1hr 15mins) *
  • Who is who in your garden
  • Honeybees and man
  • How a beehive works
  • Honeybee lifecycle
  • The Beekeeper’s year
  • Hive products
    • Honey
    • Wax
    • Propolis

Bee Identification (talk 45 mins, identifying bees 20-30 mins) *
  • 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) *
  • 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

Our Relationship with Honey Bees (probably 1 hour - new talk under construction) *
  • 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

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 *
  • Bee Hives
  • Bee Life Cycle
  • Pollination
  • Stripy insects & mimicry – bees, wasps & flies

Teachers and others *
  • Spend the morning learning about bees
  • Spend the afternoon looking at honeybees in the hive

* marks talks most suitable for non-beekeepers

Useful Information - what to expect

With introductions and questions allow an extra 15 minutes on top of the times above and I would like 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. 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 both lead busy lives and I work some evenings so we may get too busy, sometimes we have to say ‘no’ and sometimes we may lack flexibility but we will do our best. All money raised pays to support the Bee Reserve and our teaching. A talk (as above, with or without honey tasting) or an afternoon in school costs £40 and mileage is charged at 40p per mile. I will bring my own laptop computer, projector, screen, table and extension lead.