Ratcliffe College Top 09/02/22

Bee keeping at LWC

Published Tuesday 31st of May 2011 01:36:02 PM

'You want to make sure your suit is tucked into your wellies, or the bees will sting your ankles.' Ed Coetzer at Housemaster at Lord Wandsworth College knows all the tricks. A self-taught bee keeper, he established a hive in a quiet corner of the College grounds last spring. The hive is now thriving, tucked away amongst the yellow rape flowers, and it's the time of year to start bottling honey again.

Beekeeping is one of many unusual extra curricular activities offered at the College, and it's a chance for students to spend time in their environment, getting in touch with the eco systems that surround them. Weekly visits to the hive may involve spinning the honey, cleaning out the frames, or just standing watching from a safe distance, depending on personal preference.

This year's honey has already started to flow, and is much sought after by the College community, amongst whom it is unevenly distributed although hay fever sufferers are given priority, as the local honey is said to help their pollen immunity. It really is the amber nectar and, as the students are discovering, there's something deeply satisfying about gathering it yourself. Ultimately, of course, it's the bees that do all the hard work. As Ed Coetzer puts it, 'The more the bees put in, the more you get out!'
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