As a company focused on the best of British skincare, we are dedicated to supporting the British bees that not only provide us with the raw materials for our products (propolis, honey and beeswax), but that also pollinate many of the British botanicals which are important ingredients within our award-winning products.
We are a passionate supporter of The Bee Farmers' Association (BFA) which represents and works to secure the future of British bee keeping. With nearly 400 bee farming members, the primary aim of the Bee Farmers' Association is to increase UK honey production by recruiting and supporting bee farmers and bee farming business.
The Bee Farmers' Association runs a successful apprenticeship scheme in partnership with Rowse Honey launched in 2013, which aims to bring young people into bee farming. The average age of a bee farmer in the UK is over 60, so attracting and engaging youngsters is a crucial focus of this work, with a view to helping to secure a bright future for British bees.
Sebastian (r) with his mentor Master Beekeeper David Rayner
Bee Good is proud to be the latest commercial partner, and to sponsor the employment of young apprentice beekeeper, Sebastian Lever based at the Offshoots project in Burnley Lancashire. The apprenticeship scheme enables apprentices like Sebastian to remain in, and play a crucially important role in their rural community without having to own land. Helping young beekeepers at a grass roots level is where we believe that Bee Good can make the biggest difference. Sebastian and the other bee farming apprentices represent the future of this important rural industry that helps to ensure the entire country's food security.
Here we share a day in the life of our apprentice beekeeper, Sebastian...
I’m in my first full year of the formal Bee Farmers Apprenticeship course and am slightly older than many others having completed a degree in Zoology before I was accepted to join the scheme. I work with my mentor David Rayner who is a Master Beekeeper and together we work out of the Offshoots Permaculture Project based in Towneley Park, Burnley, Lancashire.
My day usually starts at Offshoots at 8.15am with a quick coffee unless we are moving hives to or from a new Apiary site in which case I meet David on-site.
Then I begin to prepare, organising the equipment we will need for the rest of the day. My job is largely dependant on the weather as we can’t work with the bees when it’s raining. So if it’s a “bee-day” I will prepare hive-tools, smokers and other equipment to enable us to actively inspect a group of hives.
The Offshoots lab area is very well equipped
If the weather is poor, we may stay indoors and I will typically prepare our microscopes and laptop when we are doing a task like pollen analysis or investigating any possible disease or other pathogen affecting the bees.
Most days involve a degree of hive inspection at one of our apiary sites at various locations around the outskirts of Burnley. Here we go through the hives, checking that the bees are healthy and the the colonies are developing well for the time of year.
Sebastian and David checking on the progress of a bee colony
David and I usually grab a sandwich and a cool drink (it gets hot in a bee suit!) between apiary visits most days or we sometimes have a break back at the office if we are nearby.
Sometimes, we have visits from local schools or other community groups to Towneley Park and I love talking about bees with them. Occasionally we might go out and do talks about our bees too.
At present we are really busy raising new Queen bees at our main apiary site at Towneley Park for those of our colonies that need them as we tend to replace Queens every 2-3 years to keep the colonies productive.
The Offshoots home apiary and bee breeding area
We also rear Queens for other local beekeepers as one of our aims in the Bee farm at Offshoots is to rear good quality British black bee Queens, which are native sub-species in our area. We really believe that this is important role for us to help prevent the loss of this native species to the UK and to help reduce the pollinator deficiency in the surrounding area.
My working day tends to finish around 5-6pm, sometimes later if we have been exceptionally busy or are at a distant apiary site and then its home for a shower and supper.
No two days are ever the same which is great for me and I also love the fact that I spend most of my time outdoors working with nature.