Beekeeper Spotlight: Meet Liz

At Pollinator Pioneers, our team currently consists of 12 dedicated volunteer beekeepers (and growing). We are incredibly grateful to work with each and every one of them. We want to share with you our monthly beekeeper spotlight, so without further ado, please meet Liz – An experienced beekeeper who is part of the Worthing Leisure Centre Apiary and is also our Apiary Manager.  Liz oversees both our apiary sites at Worthing Leisure Centre and Brooklands Park and also our hosting site.

How did your beekeeping journey start?
I went along to a local food and produce fair and the Pioneers had a stall promoting a new venture to promote polinators and bees in particular. I attended their monthly talks and then volunteered for the new Apiary they were setting up in Worthing.

What do you l love about beekeeping?
The bees are very addictive, and when you are looking in the hive you have to be very focused, which takes your mind away from every day stress/worries. I enjoy the problem solving aspect of beekeeping and gathering all the info in front of you to make decisions.

What’s your interesting bee fact?
The workers are always in charge. Of the queen, of swarming, of the hive. They are usually 3 steps in front of the beekeeper too.

What are the top threats facing pollinators in the modern day?
Habitat loss and change in land use. From more intensified farming and mono crops to the way we value neatness and space in our gardens and green spaces rather than a bit of wildness and weeds and seasonal flowers.

What is the most challenging aspect of husbandry?
As previously mentioned, the bees are generally a few steps ahead of the beekeeper. And you always need mote equipment than you expected!

What advice would you give anyone interested in Conservation or Beekeeping?
Give over at least a little part of your garden to wilderness. A bit of ivy on your fence or wall, a small log pile a patch wild flowers or weeds. And water, whether a small pond or bowls of water with rocks in. Everything needs water.

What is your biggest challenge managing the apiary sites and what do you like the most about managing the apiary sites?
A challenge has been learning that you can have 4 or 5 hives in the same spot and they all have different needs as the season goes on. Each colony is very different and a hive will fail next to a hive thats thriving. So knowing when to call it a day with an individual colony is a difficult call.
I enjoy seeing the volunteers grow in confidence and the change from asking my advice to telling me their plan is always a joy.

Want to know more?
Do get in touch if you feel inspired to become a trainee beekeeper in the future. Perhaps you would like to volunteer on ‘wild pioneering’ days, or help us with promotion at local events? We would love to hear from you.