Month: June 2021

Bees and Seas Project Flying

 

We thought it was about time we updated all our followers on our progress at the new Bees and Seas site at Brooklands Park...

As you may have read earlier this year, our main project sponsor, Sussex Transport replaced two old damaged shipping containers with brand new containers - one will be used for our teaching space and classroom, the other for our apiary and bee-keeping equipment. The difference this has made to the site is unbelievable! The wonderful park rangers at Adur and Worthing Council cleared the site of heavy rubbish in April. Another big milestone reached. In April and May the 'Friends of Brooklands Park' volunteers carried out some heavy digging, planting and wild flower seed sewing. This has really started to visually impact the site. The transformation has well and truly began.

And we are super pleased to report that things have not slowed down this last six weeks:

  • The Bees: The wonderful Worthing Honey Collective have been super busy this season. We have seven hives and growing...Queen Agatha's lovely calm hive was split last month for onwards travel to the Brooklands Apiary. Our second colony of bees has been purchased from Paynes farm, also bound for the new apiary. We currently have over 20 name suggestions for our new Queen Bee!. The winner will be picked during our summer festival.
  • The Bee Hive: Huge thanks to the children at Herons Dale Primary for their commendable creative efforts in designing the latest beehive for our new bees. We are very confident they will love their new home. Head over to our Facebook and Instagram page to view the lovely pictures. 
  • Planters, Boats and Creating Space: The fabulous Friends at Brooklands Park (FOB) have been working closely with the park rangers to transform the space. Our volunteers have been working hard. A beautiful boat has been placed at the entrance, and planters have been built and filled. B&Q donated lots of lovely bedding plants to the FOB and these have been used across the site to improve bee forage for our little pollinators. The rangers have been clearing paths and creating space for people to walk around the site. Thank you to the community for continuing to donate seeds, plugs and plants.
  • Fencing and Colour: Our project partner Creative Waves worked all weekend recently - installing a fence from recycled materials to enclose the teaching space. We are so very excited about Nadia and Nessy's creative design...They have been painting and decorating the containers in preparation for the big unveil. We know these two will add the wow factor to our Pollination Hub. Updates to follow next month...
  • Operation Bee Safe: Another of our business sponsors, CEO of Priavo Security, conducted a thorough site security audit and presented some comprehensive recommendations in a report last month. All in preparation for the bee's arrival. Friends of Brooklands Project Manager, Lisa Craik, is working closely with the park rangers to enhance security at the compound. Our lovely friends at New View Homes very kindly donated a skip to help us clear rubbish and safety hazards from the compound this last few weeks.
  • Funding: We are incredibly grateful to our funders for the recent donations that have been received. Every amount has been allocated to a project goal, allowing us to transform the site at Brooklands for local people and wildlife.  This additional funding, has allowed us to plan a series of family fun activities at our Bees and Seas event in August. In celebration of World Bee day of course...
  • Promoting Progress: A big thank you to the team at Inside Magazine for promoting our project to the wider community across six different locations and 40,000 households in our Worthing town. A fantastic publication full of sustainability projects, ecological progress and exciting community updates in our local area.
  • Wild Bees Arrive: In other exciting news 'wild bees' have made their new home in our log hive which was installed at Breathing Spaces Farm in Sompting in April. The team at Breathing Farm Flowers will be organising walks from the Bees and Seas Festival to this Downland site in August, so you can discover how wild bees live!

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for updates throughout the summer. A full Bees and Seas Festival programme will be published on this blog over the few weeks.  See you there folks.


Bees&Seas | Thank you Funders and Sponsors

 

As you may know 'Bees&Seas' is a local project born from a common passion for wildlife and 'connecting' communities with nature across the land and sea. We are working in equal partnership and collaboration with two other amazing community social enterprises: the Friends of Brooklands Park and Creative Waves CIC.

Our mission is to help educate, engage and connect the local Worthing community with nature, conservation and pollinators through a series of collaborative activities, workshops, volunteering opportunities and projects that cater to the evolving needs of the local environment around us. And to this end, we have already achieved a huge amount. Connecting and engaging with groups of like minded local volunteers; all passionate about the environment, their community and strengthening pollinators through beekeeping and expansion of our green space.

None of this would have been at all possible without the vital funding received throughout the year:

The South Downs National Park Trust in partnership with South Downs National Park Authority very generously donated a significant sum early on in the project which enabled us to kickstart the build of the site. We also very gratefully received an award from the Postcode Local Trust and much ongoing funding and support from Adur & Worthing Council. This has all really helped to bring this project to life.

The Sussex Community Foundation recently awarded us a phenomenal £5,000 'Rampion Fund' enabling us to run a very exciting programme of 'family fun' activities and events this summer for the local community. Please watch this space as the programme will be published next month and will run over three days in August: 20th, 21st and 22nd. Naturally, it has been planned to celebrate National Bee Day.

Just last month Sussex Police very generously donated £500 towards project 'Bees&Seas'. This will greatly help us prepare the new site and our bees in time for our big event in August. We are so very grateful to Ian for coordinating this. One of our beekeepers in training, Ian put us forward for this much needed grant.

Lancing and Sompting Lions have just confirmed this week that they are very kindly donating £1,000 toward out children's beekeeping children course. This money will allow us to run a fully qualified bee keeping course for young people - with each child receiving a recognised bee qualification. We are incredibly excited about this latest news. If these young beekeeping courses are a success, we will use this initial pilot as a road map for supporting and funding further mentoring sessions for young people in the future.

All of this is in addition to a whole host of amazing business sponsors who have worked hard and donated generously to the development of our new eco pollinator hub.

Debs Butler, Director at We Are FoodPioneers is delighted with the support the Bees&Seas project has already attracted: “We can’t thank local business and the wider community enough for the ‘in kind’ and ‘financial’ contributions that have been pledged to this fantastic project which will see the site at Brooklands Park transformed for local people and wildlife''.


Worthing Honey Collective | Spinning Out The Honey

Last night a few of us 'trainee' volunteers completed a practise 'honey spinning' session with the more experienced beekeepers. We are incredibly grateful to the team at Field Place for loaning their commercial kitchen facility to the Worthing Honey Collective for this honey extraction training session. Huge excitement for all involved...

  • Firstly, we uncapped the honeycomb scraping the wax cap layer off with a knife
  • Care was taken to ensure we didn't cut too deeply into the honey comb
  • Next, the honeycomb frames were placed into the baskets within the large metal drum extractor
  • Spinning the honey takes quite a bit of work! You have to build up momentum using the handle to spin out the honey
  • The honey then fell down into the bottom of the drum and filled up slowly as we spun through the frames
  • We filtered this through a fine sieve to remove the wax, debris and other lumpy bits
  • A refractometer was then used to check the water content of the honey and make sure it was viable
  • Next, we leave it for 24 hours for the air bubbles to move to the top. And VOILA, we have honey

We worked through 20 frames learning this process in preparation for the BIG honey extraction later this season.

In many cases if the comb is preserved, the frames can be returned to the bees to re-use. The wax caps can be melted down, cooled off and used in lip balms and many other products. Last year, in addition to our honey pots, we made our own Worthing honey chocolate and 'sting film' bees wax! Please watch this space for updates on forthcoming honey bee products. Great care is always taken to leave enough honey our amazing bees and all proceeds go directly back into the community.