Ok, shameless plug here. When Lockdown started way back in March last year, I had to cancel all my courses and workshops, and my usual mentoring visits were suddenly compromised, as in spite of completely justifiable “essential journey to tend to livestock” it was still a journey.
In addition to my reluctance to increase my risk, I was already looking at some way of offering my tuition online, as from a sustainability perspective it was grating with me that the only way folk could access my courses and support was by driving to my house; public transport provision is not great here in my part of rural Sussex.
I am pleased to say that I now have an embryonic community of beekeepers who have either attended my courses before, or have come on board looking to find out about a more apicentric way of keeping bees, or indeed have their own bees and want to share their experiences. There is a wealth of information about conventional beekeeping but little by way of practical advice away from that methodology, and of course I can now share my resources all across the globe. The principles are the same whatever the hive, whatever the climate, and hearing about honey bee care in different parts of the world is a great way to increase our collective knowledge about these popular insects.
I now have nearly 60 posts available to Patrons, and use the platform to ask questions about beekeeping that everyone can read and learn from. It is a non-judgemental, inclusive environment where complete beginners can see exactly what happens in a hive and how the beekeeping year unfolds, and read the comments from other patrons to expand their knowledge.
To celebrate a year where I have learnt a huge amount about video editing as well as bees, I am giving out a small thank you gift to new, existing, and upgrading patrons. I currently have 3 tiers available, and you can upgrade or downscale as you see fit. My low-cost subscriptions have the general information, while the higher tier is more targeted and I show different hive types and offer tailored advice. Being subject to change is an occupational hazard with beekeeping content but it’s brilliant to see people getting value from their memberships. The contributions allow me to carry on bringing treatment-free, observational, low-intervention beekeeping to a wide audience and connect with people I would otherwise not be able to help or advise.
Any new patrons or upgrading patrons will receive a personalised Moleskine Hive Records pocket notebook for jotting down observations in the coming season. Even if you don’t have bees, you can use the notebook for your investigations, ideas, planting schemes, contact numbers, pictures, websites, random thoughts. I have been keeping notebooks for my decade of beekeeping and although I vary between digital and paper-based records, after all our time on screens in the past year I am enjoying the haptic experience of writing stuff down. With a pencil. In a book. I am also a total stationery snob, hence the brand…
You also get a couple of little stickers of my logo and a honey bee, as well as a proper pencil.
Head over to my Patreon page to see the memberships and benefits, and stay tuned for more blogposts about upcoming projects and exclusive content for patrons this coming season.