As part of a joint venture between the Isle of Wight Bee Keeping Association (IWBKA) and Quarr Abbey, a teaching apiary has been officially opened at Quarr. The apiary will help to meet the demand for beekeeping courses on the Island and the need to increase the number of locally bred bees.
Situated in the Abbey grounds the apiary will be used for practical, hands-on training from April onwards to supplement the theoretical courses which started earlier in the year. The honey harvest will be sold in the farm shop at Quarr.
The apiary was developed with support and grants from both the Awards For All scheme (National Lottery) and the IW AONB Sustainable Development Fund. The project will address the need for new beekeepers to be able to handle bees, and help to meet the demand for healthy, local bees. Dave Cassell, Teaching Apiary Chairman, commented “We’d like to thank the Religious Community of Quarr for sharing their domain with us. The Association can now offer both theoretical and practical training for new beekeepers and provide a much-needed facility for collecting swarms, which will make a huge contribution to the Rearing Island Bees programme”.
There has been an upsurge of interest in beekeeping in recent years due to publicity about the bees’ contribution to the environment and the threat to bee stocks caused by disease. The apiary will help to raise awareness of the role bees play in our everyday lives and the natural environment. A higher standard of beekeeping will also provide a benefit to farmers as well as honey producers.
Father Finbar Kealy, the former Prior Administrator of Quarr, said, “We are delighted that the IWBKA’s hard work has come to fruition in the completion of the Teaching Apiary. Our involvement with the Association has not only allowed us to maintain the long tradition of beekeeping at Quarr but also to share some of its facilities with the Island beekeeping community.”
To report a swarm of bees that you’d like removed, please see the notice titled ‘Bee Swarms Welcomed at Quarr’ on this page of the website.
Further information about the Teaching Apiary at Quarr can be found on the IWBKA website at the link posted below.