Moving to the new HQ at Croxley Park has opened up a wealth of new activities that sit at the heart of sustainability and environmental-awareness, one of the key reasons in selecting Croxley Park as our new home.
One such opportunity was to join in on an organised event called Bee Educated, organised by Croxley Park themselves, and involving on-site gardeners Gavin Lawrence, who ran tutorials throughout the day to help those attending gain a better understanding of bee-keeping, but more importantly, our impact on the bee population through habits and unsustainable behaviours.
As the old saying goes, ‘Teach me and I’ll forget, involve me and I’ll learn’. With that in mind, participants were encouraged to don full bee-keeping suits and get a taste of life as a bee-keeper.
BBA’s own resident bee expert and Principle Certificate Scientist, Luke Adams went along, joined by Sam Winfield (Technical Projects Co-ordinator), Joe Woodhouse (Technical Projects Co-ordinator) and Katerina Hrochova (Quality Plan Assessor), to find out more.
“I actually went along to give the onsite beekeeper assistance in this event,” Luke explains. “They had four to five 30-minute slots where people came along and put on a beekeeping suit and then went along to an open hive to learn about the bees and what goes on in a hive.”
“It was brilliant,” said Joe. “With the shared knowledge of the Croxley Park gardener and Luke we learned masses about the bees and their hives.”
Some of the things that I’d never heard before were that the sticky substance the bees use in hive building for sealing unwanted gaps etc. (what can make opening up your own beehives quite difficult) wasn’t just wax or honey-based, but rather something they produced called Propolis which they form from collecting tree sap and mixing it with their own saliva.
When a queen isn’t cutting her weight / producing enough eggs or is coming to the end of her approximate 3-year life the workers will feed a normal brood ‘royal jelly’ turning them into a new queen!”
“It was really fascinating,” adds Sam. “Although it got a little harder to concentrate when the Bees began to swarm us, we had no fear though (or at least didn’t show any) and let them bumble around us.
“I had a slightly scary moment when I felt a tickle down the back of my neck and had to convince myself a bee hadn’t made its way into my suit! (It was nothing but anxiety!)
“It was great to see another side of the Croxley Park team and also hear about the increased work towards wildlife and insect conservation.”
The event was also followed by a tasting session afterwards where those attending could try the Croxley honey. However, we are reliably informed that it doesn’t quite compare to our own Luke’s honey! However, a future collaboration is likely, so we’ll watch this space!