People in Cornwall are helping to fuel the dramatic rise in the number of people becoming beekeepers looking to do their part for the environment.
The British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) revealed the association’s membership has risen from about 8,500 people in 2008 to more than 24,000 in 2017.
And the attraction of helping the county’s bees thrives has led to new courses for those who want to learn the art of bee keeping and the reward of honey and candles.
Among the bee enthusiasts who joined Gary Fleming and Steve Farnes from the Honey Company for an introduction to Beekeeping run by Duchy College Rural Business School, was Laura Fieldhouse, 32 from Charlestown.
She was given the course as a Christmas present and said she wanted to “find out a little bit more about bee keeping and see if this was something that I would be able to do myself”.
“The course has given me a little bit of confidence and given me the basics and Bee keeping is definitely something that I’m going away wanting to learn more about,” she continued.
“I have really enjoyed learning about the hives and the lifecycle of bees and really enjoyed the practical session. I am looking into keeping bees as I would like to make candles and produce my own bees wax.”
Gary acknowledged “it can be quite off putting your hands and head into 60,000 insects that can sting you”, but added the course “gives people a flavour of the art of bee keeping with a good group of people”.
The session also went through the costs and time involved in keeping bees, among other queries.
“Bees do need to be managed like any livestock, but people become hooked on bee keeping and it’s great to get them started,” he added.
Steve said aspiring bee keepers should “take an in-depth course and do their research”.
“There are many courses available including ones run by Duchy College’s Rural Business School at Stoke Climsland and Rosewarne campuses.”
For more information on the range of bee keeping courses available across The Cornwall College Group visit www.ruralbusinessschool.org.uk or call 0845 458 7485.