June 21, 2024

Why Keep Bees?

Beekeeping is new at Edge Grove – and we are delighted to share that Edge Grove has joined legions of avid apiarists and now has its very own hive, which is being looked after by our wonderful Forest School Leader, Mrs Doughty.

So why keep bees?

Beekeeping is important for many reasons, some ecological or agricultural others economic and even cultural:

  1. Pollination: Bees are vital pollinators for many crops and wild plants. Around one-third of the food we eat relies on pollination by bees, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. This ecosystem service is essential for maintaining biodiversity and food security, and at Edge Grove, we think it is important that children, even from a very young age, understand this.
  2. Biodiversity: Bees contribute to the health of our ecosystems by pollinating a variety of plants, which supports the food web. This biodiversity is crucial for ecosystem stability and resilience.
  3. Honey Production: Beekeeping produces honey, a natural sweetener with numerous health benefits. Honey has antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties, making it a valuable food and medicinal product.  With our bees having only recently arrived at School, we are not expecting honey production this year, but look forward to sharing some Edge Grove Honey in 2025 with our families and visitors.
  4. By-products: In addition to honey, bees produce other useful substances such as beeswax, propolis, royal jelly, and bee pollen. These products have applications in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and food supplements – we wills tart with honey before we try anything else though!
  5. Economic Impact: Beekeeping supports the livelihoods of many people worldwide. It provides income through the sale of honey and other bee products, and it also enhances agricultural yields through improved pollination.
  6. Environmental Monitoring: Bees are sensitive to environmental changes, making them good indicators of ecosystem health. Beekeepers can monitor bee behaviour and health to gain insights into environmental conditions and potential ecological threats – all of this will feed into our Science, Geography and Forest School lessons as pupils learn more about our environment.
  7. Educational and Cultural Significance: Beekeeping is educational; we hope that through our own hives, pupils will learn a bit more about ecology, agriculture, and sustainability. Beekeeping is also culturally significant in many societies, symbolizing hard work, cooperation, and productivity, in the same way that the bees themselves do.
  8. Conservation: Bees are in danger and beekeeping supports the conservation of bee populations, especially in the face of threats such as habitat loss, pesticides, diseases, and climate change.

We are so excited to be involved in the world of beekeeping, and hope that the children are excited about learning more about the ecological and environmental benefits involved.  And we will are certainly look forward to the first taste of Edge Grove honey!