One of the aims of having four Quadrants of Learning is to expose Bickley boys to as broad a range of learning experiences as possible. The hope is that, in amongst the rich and varied activities that take place at the school, potentially life-long passions will be ignited.
A case in point is ‘Lee’s Bees’.
In the summer term, 2016, Matthew (current Y8 pupil), joined the school’s bee keeping club. A brief theory course introduced the boys to the amazing world of bees. This was followed by practical, hands-on bee keeping sessions with the school bee-keeper, Ilona. These took place in an apiary located in allotments at Shortlands (photo of Matthew in action in 2016 below).
Matthew joined beekeeping club out of interest and because he ‘thought it would be fun’. He was fascinated from the word go and eager to learn all he could about the incredible complexities of a bee community.
Having completed the course, over dinner at home one day, Matthew announced he would like to have some bees. Matthew’s mum and dad were incredulous! However, in the spirit of endeavour, and acting upon Matthew’s enthusiasm, the family spoke to Paul, a bee-keeping friend of his father. This conversation made them realise that it was possible for amateurs to learn the craft of bee-keeping, so the plunge was taken. The family decided to do beekeeping training, which led them to sign up for a ten week course. Eight weeks into the course, they attended the beekeeping fair at the N.A.C. and ordered everything needed to set up an apiary. On completion of the course, Matthew’s dad ordered their first bee colony, which was the launch of a great adventure, complete with multiple swarms, inter-hive rivalries and wasp invasions! Matthew has been fully involved in managing the young apiary, including successfully re-queening one of the hives.
Here is a photo of Matthew working on his home apiary:
In August, the school took delivery of a fantastic gift: forty jars of home grown honey (and one extra for the Headmaster!) which have been donated by Lee’s Bees as gifts for Bickley Park’s centenary.
To capture a little of Matthew’s enthusiasm for his craft, click on this link: