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Beekeeping in Schools - any experience?

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Justin Collis 

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Working with the State funded education sector, I would be interested in finding out whether anyone keeps bees at their school.

In our risk-adverse school culture, I appreciate that children are now being advised to wear safety glasses when playing conkers. Are bees and High schools completely incompatible?
 

Roy S 

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Interesting question, I'm a governer at a primary school and the headmaster has approached me to see wether a hive could be accomodated in the school quad/garden, we're waiting to hear from education and council officials to see what they say, we'll also be getting the local BKA involved too.

A few years ago I regularly took an observation hive in to the school which always went down very well with both the children and staff, all of them now want to do their bit to stop the decline of the honey bee it seems :)
 

hedgerow pete 

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i learnt bee keeping at school as my place had a school farm and the teacher was a keeper so he had another apiary site !!!!

i think the whole mad, insurance, sueing and injury thing would fighten most keeps or thier insurance clerks, what you want to do is set one up on a piece of land next door to the school and take the little sods sorry i mean our beloved ofspring to them, i get a few people who are always asking to have a look so i have several spare sets of veils just the cheep 99p mossy nets from the market tuck it into thier jumpers and stick a pair of gloves on and dont forget the bicycle clips
knowledge is the greatest weapon i used against ignorence, you just have to make sure they dont panic when you lift the lid or the first frame, as i have said my bees are a more lively bunch than most beekeepers would want so not realy very newby friendly but i will buy a nuk this year to stick outside for the newbees to torment i wont want them to produce much just survive heavy handed novices
 

Roy S 

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i learnt bee keeping at school as my place had a school farm and the teacher was a keeper so he had another apiary site !!!!

i think the whole mad, insurance, sueing and injury thing would fighten most keeps or thier insurance clerks, what you want to do is set one up on a piece of land next door to the school and take the little sods sorry i mean our beloved ofspring to them, i get a few people who are always asking to have a look so i have several spare sets of veils just the cheep 99p mossy nets from the market tuck it into thier jumpers and stick a pair of gloves on and dont forget the bicycle clips
knowledge is the greatest weapon i used against ignorence, you just have to make sure they dont panic when you lift the lid or the first frame, as i have said my bees are a more lively bunch than most beekeepers would want so not realy very newby friendly but i will buy a nuk this year to stick outside for the newbees to torment i wont want them to produce much just survive heavy handed novices
Hahahaha that made me chuckle....here were we are, a stones throw from Knowsley safari park....the animals are kept in there for their safety not the publics!!. Bees would stand no chance within 2 miles of the school...hence the desire to set them up in a secure quad :)....nah its not as bad as that really but dont think I'd fancy risking having them nearby
 

Widdershins 

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I think our member, Mosquito has an apiary at a school - give him a nudge.
 

FROGDOGDIVER 

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I dont know of any schools in Northern Ireland that keep bees but I have now been asked twice to do a demonstration for my sons class at primary school. They were more that happy to have an observation hive in the class room. The head master even came along for the show.
 

hedgerow pete 

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the biggest problem with schools and bee's is security. most schools are not secure at night , weekends so you will either entrall the pupils and convert many or in a big school as like the one near me or knowsley ( worked up there last year for 15 weeks, beutiful , on the way past at 70mph) then the problem is out of the 1500 pupils, 200 will pay interest to what you are doing, 150 to scive off lessons 35 to the bee keeping and 15 to tell there brothers where they can either nick £2000 of bee hives or some thing new to try to set fire to!!!! A hard lesson i have learnt is if you realy must want to keep bees at a school the ground is not the place for them but the first floor roof is. iam going to start a thread soon about out apairies and how i am going about getting one there will be lots of tips on positions ect , that should help
 

Mosquito 

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Yes I used to look after 2 hives at a School.
primary school.
Another beekeeper has now taken over.
They have had bees for over 10 years.
They keep them at the back of the school away from the playground.
But the kids do work outside around 15 feet away on a hot sunny day.
Been told they have not had any problem.
Even when they have swarmed.
 
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Justin Collis 

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Thanks for these insightful comments.

the biggest problem with schools and bee's is security. most schools are not secure at night , weekends so you will either entrall the pupils and convert many or in a big school as like the one near me or knowsley ( worked up there last year for 15 weeks, beutiful , on the way past at 70mph) then the problem is out of the 1500 pupils, 200 will pay interest to what you are doing, 150 to scive off lessons 35 to the bee keeping and 15 to tell there brothers where they can either nick £2000 of bee hives or some thing new to try to set fire to!!!! A hard lesson i have learnt is if you realy must want to keep bees at a school the ground is not the place for them but the first floor roof is. iam going to start a thread soon about out apairies and how i am going about getting one there will be lots of tips on positions ect , that should help
Thanks for these insightful comments. A first floor roof seems the best solution. I've been also offered an apiary site five minutes walk away from school in a large residential garden. I now need to incorporate making hives into my Technology lessons!
Did you see the comments from one beekeeper on the recently aired BBC4 programme 'Who killed the Honey bee' regarding the advantages of keeping bees in an urban setting? He was proposing that it was much better to avoid locating hives in the country.
 

RickTee 

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Our wood work teacher kept bees at school, i loved the lessons and visiting the bees. But that was over 30 years ago, these days i dread to think of the legal repercussions should a student have a bad reaction to a sting.:eek:
 

kermit 

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Really useful stuff here. I am looking at doing exactly the same, however, I have the advantage that the apiary will be on the school farm. This is away in one corner of the site and we can screen it off. This should mean that there are hardly anymore bees around the main site.

Justin, how have you got on with this? Any risk assessments I could steal?

Cheers
Dave
 

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