Last weekend Claire and I attended a beekeeping taster workshop in Ulting run by the Maldon and Dengie 100 Beekeepers. We already have a hive (bee-less) and made contact with Peter Davison, who oversees of the management of the Divisional Apiary based at the Arcadia Road Allotment Site. The taster workshop is designed to give would be beekeepers the opportunity to have some hands on experience with real live bees as well as learn some basics without obligation.
It was a short taster – 3 and a bit hours including tea and cake – hosted by Carlie and Glenn Mayes, who were excellent hosts. Carlie took photographs during the day – which is good, as I struggled to take any on my cameraphone once I was suited up and gloved! Once in bee suits everyone becomes pretty anonymous – but our pink rubber gloves allowed me to identify us. Getting close up with the bees was amazing and I’ve already learned a lot more about them than I knew beforehand.
I have heard people say that ‘conventional’ beekeeping is not very ecological and/or ethical, so I was on the lookout for anything that sounded suspect. I didn’t really come across anything on the taster day that concerned me though.
The next step in beekeeping training with MAD is to attend a basic bee keeping theory course where you learn the basics of looking after bees. They don’t run their next one until 2019, but I’d like to keep things local – so I’m planning to take that course with them next year.