Busy bees benefit from grant
Educating people about bees and their importance is the main objective of The Apple Orchard Apiary.
Now, with funding from the Community Enhancement Programme, it is hoped the community apiary will reach out to schools.
Isabel Kuroczka and Natascha Telford of the apiary said the funding has facilitated their ability to educate people.
Based at the Community Orchard at St Mary's, the apiary allows people to join and learn from the beginning of a season.
"Hopefully this will progress so people have a better knowledge about honey and how to keep bees if they'd like to keep them," explained Ms Telford.
If amateur bee keepers don't have the space themselves they can join the community apiary.
"They can learn from the beginning of the season to the end how to look after and care for bees," added Ms Telford
The duo also teach people about biodiversity and the life cycle of a bee, along with how important bees are to the environment.
"Hopefully if we get a good year like last year we get a honey harvest as well. We got quite a bit of honey last year with it being so warm," she noted.
The funding received has gone towards a lot of educational material which the bee keepers will use to teach children.
Ms Telford explained, We're going to hopefully invite schools up to have a look and go into schools and maybe a few schools will actually get a hive and we'll go and teach them about it. We've got children's bee suits so they can come up and have a look."
Isabel explained that one of them is always on hand during the season at weekly hive inspections to teach practical skills to people.
"We're trying to get more people involved," she added.
With the pair volunteering their time and materials being expensive, the ladies have said the funding has helped cover some of their costs..
"We have an anatomy bee [pictured] to show children and that helps, but all that equipment is very expensive," so it's great to get funding to develop it," said Natascha.