The Rowcroft Beekeeping Group (RBG) has existed for 8 years. It started as a small apiary, set in the grounds of the Hospice. The Hospice is a charity and any profits from the sale of honey/ beeswax are donated accordingly. The sales of honey in 2021 = £3000. The group is made up of volunteers from a range of backgrounds and experience. Due to the expansion of the apiary i.e., from the original 4 to 25 hives in 2021, the group are looking at ways of keeping the finances sustainable. The Rowcroft apiary has room to expand by adding for a further 2 hives. This bid would be seeking the funding to buy the 2 hives (plus equipment) which can then be rented for £100 per annum.
This would enable individuals/families to learn to keep bees for a year without a major commitment. Any honey produced would be kept by the renter. The income gained would enable the beekeeping group to become financially sustainable. Due to the hives being in an existing apiary, advice is readily available on a Wednesday morning (or via email/ social media). The advantages of this would be that practical beekeeping can be learned before making the commitment of buying/siting a living hive. There is much to learn regarding the amazing honeybee and the ability to rent a hive would be a major advantage. When working with honeybees it is important to stay safe, bee suits are also there to rent
Residents (Torbay) will gain a community beekeeping hub. It will allow potential new beekeepers to learn skills in a safe and secure environment. The rented hive would be sited in an established apiary where you can practice honeybee husbandry. Knowledge, experience, and advice would be freely available. The health benefits of honey, royal jelly, propolis and bee pollen are well known. The ability to rent enables potential beekeepers to ‘practice’ new skills without substantial financial outlay plus if you live in a flat, or no suitable garden, this approach can be very positive. The Rowcroft Beekeeping Group are experienced in honeybee husbandry and will provide a safe learning environment.
|Bee suits x 4||£200|
|Shed for storage||£200|
The addition of 2 hives, to rent, would enable 2 families a year, access to learn new skills. The benefits of working with honeybees have been well documented, with particular emphasis on health, well-being, and animal husbandry. https://www.beekeeping-101.com/8-health-benefits-of-beekeeping/ The benefit to the local area would be to maintain a healthy population of honeybee pollinators. With approx. 30% of our food being pollenated by honeybees, it is vital that these populations are maintained. There is a large suburban garden rich area, along with parkland surrounding the existing apiary. Although beekeeping can be challenging (and hard work), the sense of achievement gained from managing a successful and healthy hive, encourages ‘eustress’. The term ‘eustress’ is used to describe positive stress which is gained from the satisfaction of engaging with a serious endeavour. The rental money gained would allow the existing group to be financially sustainable, which would be invaluable
The Rowcroft Beekeeping Group have provided the Hospice with funding, gained from the sale of honey, over an eight year period. This amounted to £3000 just for 2021. The group has just gained funding for a new beehive (£850) to be located in Brixham College 2022, the first to be located in a school in Torbay. This 'Bees in Schools' initiative will be supported by the Rowcroft Beekeeping Group of volunteers. The group is active in the community but require a sustainable future. There is also plans to hold regular educational sessions at the Rowcroft apiary during 2022.