I am always keen to meet up with like-minded people, and I love using honeybees as a way of reconnecting people with our environment. I had a meeting last week with Vicky of Starnash Farmhouse B&B, and after coffee, walking and talking around the beautiful surroundings, it was obvious that it would be a perfect collaboration to run a beekeeping course at her house.
We have similar views on sustainable living and gardening, and I love her approach of filling these gorgeous borders by divisions and self-seeding rather than hitting the garden centre. People often ask what they should plant to help bees: plants which grow well and flower profusely are the best plants for all pollinators. It is completely fine to design your garden around the “right” sort of plants, but there is a wider issue of trying to grow something which isn’t suited to the situation as it will be a battle to get it established. Choosing plants which thrive in your locality and have been grown in soil rather than compost are always going to be more robust than their nursery counterparts. This, and the general approach of realistic sustainable living within the fabric of modern society, certainly chimed with me and the beekeeping I promote is about working with the bees and harnessing the potential without unnaturally stimulating or artificially propping up the colony.
We have decided on a course to introduce beekeeping, and how we can manage honeybees in a sustainable and ethical way. We will also look at the other bee species utilising the forage that Vicky has allowed to build up, from mature trees and generous herbaceous borders, to organically-managed raised beds and soft fruit.
This will be followed by a delicious cream tea in the Morning Room, and a chance to ask questions. The course dates are 11th and 25th May, 2-5pm, and cost £50 per person. Please enquire here at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Vicky at email@example.com