Bees are incredibly important to life on our planet – they are vital to us because of the role bees play as a pollinator. Bees pollinate many plants we harvest for food in the UK and throughout the world. We are also able to harvest useful products from honey bees – wax and honey primarily. Honey has been used as a food by humans for hundreds of years and is also useful in many medicines. Currently numbers of bees are declining. This is for a variety of reasons – use of pesticides and habitat loss are thought to be some of the main reasons. The honey bee specifically is also under threat from the varroa mite. Most wild honey bees are thought to have died out as a result of the varroa mite.
Bees at Offshoots, Towneley Park, Burnley
We have had a bee apiary at Offshoots for more than 10 years. It’s a vital part of our site at offshoots as it demonstrates the role animals play in a sustainable lifestyle. The bee apiary at Offshoots now features a fantastic observation garden – where you can sit in safety outside the apiary behind our fencing and netting and watch bees coming and going from the apiary.
Offshoots has been closed to walk in visitors during the pandemic but as restrictions are continuing to relax we will be able to welcome visitors very soon. Check back here for updates. When the site is open so you can visit and see our bees in action on a warm sunny day. We also have display hives around the site which show the different types of hives and philosophies about beekeeping.
There is always a lot to do in terms of maintenance around our bees – you don’t necessarily need to be a trained beekeeper to help out. Many tasks are maintenance based around equipment and can be done outside of the apiary. We also need help in planting and looking after our bee friendly plants. You can get in touch here to submit your interest in volunteering on site with our bees or contact East Lancs Beekeepers here.