The hardworking honey bee population has been declining in recent years so a campaign by Irish cider maker, Magners, is a welcome boost to raise the numbers. You have till the end of this month to apply for a beekeepers scholarship. For details of this and other good bee news read on..
Most folk know by now the important role our buzzy little friend, the humble honey bee, plays in the food chain. Bees are not only the producers of delicious honey but are major pollinators of our crops. No mean feat for the hard working insect. But did you know that in taste tests urban honey often wins over rural honey. It seems the diversity of blooms in urban landscapes (yes, that’s your window box or small city garden) can produce a more interesting honey than some one-crop fields which, of course, makes sense when you think about it.
As many of you know, Mark here has a couple of hives that he keeps in a North London allottment (that’s his Bee Warning sign above that he designed for his hives) and we can testify that the honey they produce is one of the most floral, bright honeys we’ve tasted. We’re BIG honey fans at Decoder.
All this meant that when we got an invitation to buzz along to the National Theatre, South Bank and hear about a great opportunity for budding beekeepers we said ‘Yes’. Like all beekeepers Mark relished the chance to ‘talk bees’. You know… marking queens, honey production, mites, angry bee tales etc etc etc. While Ailbhe was just excited to don a beekeeper’s suit and get up close and personal with some (good-natured) bees brought to the National Theatre roof top for the event.
The occasion was to highlight a campaign from Irish cider maker, Magners, who have teamed up with the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) and the Federation of Irish Beekeepers Associations (FIBKA) to offer twenty-five Magners Facebook fans the chance to become fully-fledged urban beekeepers. We feel this is one exceptionally generous and well-conceived campaign from which there are only winners.
Because even if you don’t want to apply for a beekeepers scholarship, a simple ‘Like’ on the Magners Facebook page, here (or download of their app) and they will donate 50 bees to the aforementioned bee associations. Just think, one of those bees could be the very bee that pollinates your tomato or strawberry plant next year. And if you do fancy joining the growing band of urban beekeepers you should apply quick smart for a scholarship. The final date for applications is October 30 2011 so you’ve still time to get your application in. Apply here
This article is also posted on Ailbhe’s food blog here