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Relocation of Guernsey Beekeepers’ Association made easier thanks to The Channel Islands Co-operative Society

29 November 2017

GUERNSEY Beekeepers’ Association will purchase a shed to store equipment as well as paving slab bases for beehives, thanks to a donation by The Channel Islands Co-operative Society.

The donation of £1,600 from the Society’s Eco-Fund will help the Guernsey Beekeepers’ Association with essential expenditure for their relocation this winter. The Society led the way in recycling in 2008 by levying a 5p charge on one-trip carrier bags. The proceeds from those sales go into The Co-operative Eco-Fund and are then distributed to environmental projects across the islands.

‘I’m delighted that we’re able to support such an important and long-standing local association. The Guernsey Beekeepers’ Association touch all generations of the Island through their educational displays, events and training as well as the honeybees themselves. The Association is an established part of our community and I think it’s great that we’re able to provide financial assistance,’ said Tanya Dorrity, the Society’s Community Officer.

Annual subscriptions and fees from beekeeping courses fund the Association’s activities.

‘We now no longer have to use our small reserves to fund an equipment shed and paving slab bases for the beehives on our new apiary at the GSPCA (Guernsey Society for Protection of Cruelty to Animals) site. This will allow us to continue using our income to fund first-class speakers from the UK to instruct members on beekeeping practices as well as hold our annual honey show and run numerous beekeeping meetings throughout the year,’ said Chris Tomlins, Guernsey Beekeepers’ Association President.

‘The equipment shed will be used to store empty hives, feeders, spare frames, foundation and bee suits for visitors. Whilst these are used throughout the summer when honeybees swarm, additional equipment is needed and requires dry storage during the rest of the year. If left to the vagaries of the weather the equipment will quickly deteriorate.’

The paving slab bases will enable the Association to more easily keep the grass around the hives tidy and provide a firm base on which they will stand.

Chris added, ‘The displays will either be educational for school groups or scout or guiding groups to give youngsters a better understanding of the life of our most important pollinator. Adult groups will also occasionally be introduced to honeybees with a practical demonstration. The hives will also be instructional for our members and used for the annual ‘Introduction to Beekeeping’ course run by the Association. We usually link up visiting speakers to practical sessions to enable more thorough instruction on the practical needs of hive manipulation.’

The Guernsey Beekeepers’ Association was established in 1948 and is made up of a group of like-minded people and their families who wish to keep bees, help and assist each other with their hobby and through education, improve their experience. The Association’s motto is ‘mutual assistance’.

It is proposed that the Association will relocate the apiary to the GSPCA site during the course of the winter, once the work to establish the base is complete, ready for the start of the 2018 season.

(photo: Tanya Dorrity (Co-op Community Officer) with Chris Tomlins (Guernsey Beekeepers’ Association President)