Sunday, 4 February 2018

B.A. Learning for Beekeepers - exploring beyond the traditional –


Courses are offered by Bees Abroad and run by our expert volunteer beekeepers to raise funds for our projects. The fees will support our work in the relief of poverty through beekeeping.

Course 1: Options for Beekeepers – conventional v natural / sustainable approaches

We will explore the issues with conventional beekeeping and the opportunities for more natural, sustainable and less intensive approaches.  We help you make choices based on a sound understanding of the issues. We draw on experience from the UK and Africa. 
Warre Hive

Topics include:

·         Lifecycle of the Honey Bee – and how it guides us to understand the best beekeeping practices
·         Bee Behaviour -  and how to keep bees more sympathetically
·         Bee Diseases – and how to keep bees more healthily 
·         Choosing A Hive – we compare framed hive designs with others including Warre and top bar hives
·         Getting Started – where to get help, equipment and bees
·         Apitherapy – how products of the hive can benefit human health

Suitable for those with and without beekeeping experience.

Course Tutors          Jane & Richard Ridler – BBKA Master Beekeepers & Bees Abroad Project Managers

Dates                         Sunday 20th May (World Bee Day) & Saturday 14th July
Start/Finish                9.30 to 4.30
Venue                       Writtle University near Chelmsford, Essex. CM13RR
Price                           £89 includes refreshments and lunch

Book via Bees Abroad on-line shop at

Course 2: An Introduction to Top Bar Hives – includes make your own

This thought provoking and practical course aims to introduce participants to top bar hive beekeeping and its application in Africa and the UK.
·         We will discuss the practice of beekeeping in both East and west Africa and various styles of hive.
·         You will taste a selection of African honeys.
·         We will demonstrate making top bar hives from both wattle and daub and wood. 
·         You will be provided with materials to make your own wooden top bar hive to take home. If you prefer you can help someone make theirs. The hive will be fully functional and suitable for use in the UK.
·         We discuss beekeeping in the context of sustainable social enterprises for the relief of poverty.

Suitable for those with and without beekeeping experience.
This course is run in conjunction with the Fell Edge Farm Centre who are generously providing the venue.

Course Tutors          Dawn Williamson & Paul Bloch – Bees Abroad Project Managers
Dates             Saturday 7th April
Start/Finish                9.00 to 17.00
Venue                       Fell Edge Farm, Skipton, West Yorks. LS299JX

Waged: £45             Unwaged: £25
Cost of materials to make one hive:
Waged: £70             Unwaged: £50

Light lunch and refreshments included.
Accommodation is available
Book via Bees Abroad on-line shop at 

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Tips for Beginner Gardeners on; How to Make A Space That Bees Will Love (Guest Posting by Christ Erickson)

For the good of your health, your yard, and the planet, you should strongly consider starting a garden that caters to the world’s best pollinators, the bees. Beginning a garden may sound intimidating, but it’s pretty simple if you go in with a plan and a little bit of know-how. Here are some essential tips for making sure your first garden will be a place that bees will love.

Make use of the space you have

Not everyone has the yard space to plant a giant bee garden. Some live in smaller homes with smaller plots - especially city-dwellers. There are plenty of ways to make use of the space you have, however. Plant flowers in planters, pots, hanging baskets, window boxes, and up walls (flowering vines). Stack planters if you can, as you’re likely to have more space vertically than horizontally. For more tips on how to make use of a small garden space, check here.

Know when flowers bloom and plant smart

Those new to gardening may not know that plants don’t bloom all year and that most plants have specific times of the year that they’re in bloom. Primrose, for instance, will bloom in early spring and then be done for the year. A black-eyed susan, on the other hand, won’t bloom until the end of summer. You want to know the blooming schedules of common flowers so that you can plant smartly. Always have at least some flowers in bloom in your garden, so that bees will always have a place to stop and collect pollen & nectar. Here’s a nice bloom schedule guide to get you started.

Think about the bees’ preferences

Sure, you want your garden to contain the flowers you think are pretty or the fruits and vegetables that you want to eat, but if you’re truly doing this for the bees then you need to think about their preferences when it comes to plants. There are three characteristics that bees love when it comes to flowers. First, while honeybees are attracted to a variety of plants, other types of bees go crazy for native plants (plants local to their specific area). Next, bees love fragrant, colorful flowers. Blues, purples, and whites are among their favorites. Finally, bees like flowers that are easily accessible, so the more complex the petal/interior structure, the worse they are for bees. Here’s a good place to start when picking plants bees are known to love.

Why should I start a bee-friendly garden?

So you’re armed with some tips, now why should you do the work? Beyond the numerous mental and physical health benefits of taking up gardening as a hobby, doing what you can to help your local bee population is one of the most environmentally-friendly actions you can undertake. Bees, as our most important animal pollinators, have a hand in pollinating at least one out of every three bites of food you consume. At least 70% of the top crops, globally, depends on bees at least in some part. Bees are in danger, as habitat destruction, pesticide use, and food shortages due to climate change have reduced their populations globally.

Starting a garden in your own backyard may not be easy (it takes time, know-how, and some physical labor) but it’s an investment that is worth the effort. Growing plants from seed, bulb, or nursing adult plants to greater health is a great way to teach you and your kids about life, produce beautiful flowers, grow healthy food, and protect one of our greatest natural allies - the bees. 

Honey Bee on Fuschia bush.

Did you knowThe vast majority of Fuchsia are native to Central and South America with a small number found in New Zealand, Tahiti and on Hispaniola.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Win a hive: Bees for Development Birthday Giveaway

To celebrate Bees for Development’s 25th Year we are offering fantastic Birthday Giveaways throughout 2018. 

This month’s prize is a complete, assembled UK National frame hive and stand, worth over £400.  

The prize is generously donated and delivered by E H Thorne (Beehives) Ltd.

For a chance to win the bee hive, simply enter your details here

Thank you.


Louise Cobb
Development Manager
Bees for Development Trust UK Charity 1078803
1 Agincourt Street, 
NP25 3DZ, 
UKTel +44 (0)1600 714848