Beekeepers and bees invite you to share their honey and wisdom

The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, the bees are swarming and the beekeepers are buzzing.

With workshops, fairs and festivals to come, the Brighton and Lewes Beekeepers Association has a summer diary filled with events and meetings ahead to encourage awareness about the plight of the honey bee and other pollinators.

Brighton and Lewes Beekeepers Association

Brighton and Lewes Beekeepers Association

This weekend (Saturday, May 19) they will be heading to the Sussex Beekeepers Association Bee Festival held at the Heathfield Community College.

Live bee shows, workshops, mead making and talks about bee health will be taking place to raise awareness and teach people how to respect the honey bee and its pollinating peers.

The Brighton and Lewes Beekeepers Association will be selling their honey, hosting workshops and enlightening the public on the importance of bees.

“The whole purpose of the association is education,” said Ian White, chairman of the Brighton and Lewes Beekeepers Association.

Members of the Brighton and Lewes Beekeepers Association

Members of the Brighton and Lewes Beekeepers Association

“We aim to impart our many years of wisdom on people that are interested in keeping bees.”

With an increase in use of pesticides by farmers, urbanisation and invasive species such as the recent discovery of the Asian Hornet, pollinators are facing serious threats to their population.

“The problems they've got are endless,” said Mr White.

“We've lost so many wild flower meadows over the last 70 years, they need all the help they can get.”

Plantlife, a British conservation charity, recently published reports confirming 97 per cent of wildflower meadows have been lost.

Speaking about how everyone can help, Mr White said: “If you want to plant wildflowers, brilliant, or if you just have a patch of nettles and dandelions, great, that will encourage pollinators.”

“We go to a number of village fairs and sell our honey and try and educate the public about bees and pollinators and the problems that they are facing” he added.

Manek Dubash, who has been a member of the Brighton and Lewes Beekeepers Association for three years, said: “Bees without management aren't doing well, they get infected with diseases. I think that beekeepers are really an essential part of the bee ecosystem.

“It’s a really useful group and we learn a lot.

“There are a lot of people doing beekeeping which is so encouraging. I think this is going to be a great season.”

With more than 500 members across East Sussex, the likes of Mr White and his fellow beekeepers are striving to encourage interest in beekeeping.

To find out more about the bee festival this weekend, visit: sussexbeeorguk.wordpress.com
To find out more about the Brighton and Lewes Beekeepers Association, visit: www.brightonlewesbeekeepers.co.uk