Educational In-Apiary Workshop | June 2023

Oak Grove College

The group: Oak Grove College | June 2023

The lowdown: In celebration of Pollinator week and throughout June, we have been marrying up local business sponsors with West Sussex schools to run complementary Educational Workshops, and we were lucky enough to work with the wonderful students from Oak Grove College.

The crew: Oak Grove is a community generic school providing special education for students with learning difficulties ranging from Year 7 to Year 14. The wonderful teaching team believe strongly in developing the skills, confidence and aspirations of the wider community to provide the very best for all their pupils.

Edu Session: We took the students through a two-hour training workshop introducing beekeeping and covering pollinators, the honeybee hive, roles and responsibilities and the beekeeping year.

We suited and booted up and entered the Apiary where we inspected Queen Liz and her colony. The bees were very well-behaved, and the students were amazing, considering this was their first visit to an apiary. One of the teachers might have even overcome her real fear of bees…

When back at school the students painted a hive for us and named a colony….  Hive Saskia which is residing at our Worthing Leisure Centre apiary site.

In summary:  One of the students Owen explained what they did…

What did you do?

“First we had a safety talk and then we stepped into our bee suits which would protect us from stingers! We then went to the hives and had a final check that we were all zipped up correctly and then went in to open the hives. We learnt all about the queen excluder and her role. We looked at the honeycomb and saw it was hexagonal in shape and how each chamber connected to the others and watched all the bees flying around before closing it up. At the second hive there was a loud buzzing sound! Those bees were not in a good mood at all! We very quickly closed it back up again. We then had to check for any hitchhiking bees before removing our suits.”

What was your favourite part?

“Being in a suit and exploring the hives!”

What have you gained from this experience?

“I would like to keep bees in the future and so this experience has really helped me. I would like to go back in the summer holidays to study a beekeeping course.”

Edi said: It was the best day ever! I loved wearing the suits and getting to see the Queen Bee in real life!”

Teachers: “A massive thank you to the whole team for enabling our students to have such an incredible morning with you all. They were all buzzing!”

 

Thank you to local business Priavo Security for sponsoring this session. Another huge thank you to Oak Grove in making a difference for these incredible students and inspiring the next generation of nature lovers.

Please get in touch directly if you are interested in sponsoring an educational visit at info@pollinatorpioneers.org.uk