Keeping bees

Kate Humble finds industrious bees absolutely fascinating. But it seems she is not alone, 44,000 people currently keep bees in the UK and numbers are growing steadily. Kate has decided to go on a beekeeping course so she can have her own bees at home. Strangely enough it's not the potential money or the honey that has inspired so many people to become beekeepers on the course. Most people realise now that bees are in trouble, not just in this country but around the world, and some have decided they have a responsibility to see if they can help. For the environment and food production it is vital that we have a lot of people keeping bees. Bee numbers have fallen dramatically in recent years, partly due to the tiny, but deadly varroa mite and controlling them is now an essential part of modern beekeeping. Before the mite can spread, they must be removed by whatever means possible. On the course Kate is shown how to dust the bees with icing sugar, which makes them slippery and the mites slip off. David Wiscombe, a bee expert thinks if bees didn't sting everyone would have a hive of bees at the bottom of the garden, just to get the honey, but as long as people are careful and not over clumsy, anyone could keep bees if they wanted to. Kate now has a hive at the bottom of her garden which at the height of the summer probably had about 80,000 bees.

Release date:


3 minutes


Role Contributor
PresenterChris Packham
PresenterKate Humble
PresenterSimon King
ProducerLizzie Green
Executive ProducerTim Scoones

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