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There’s a buzz in the air since we received an exciting new delivery – three colonies of bees. The bees will be starring in their own live buzzfeed, BeeTV.

We have worked in partnership with WoodMor Foundation to develop a bee-keeping programme which provides work opportunities for our students.

The Derwen Horticulture team have been busy clearing an area which students have dubbed ‘McGregor’s Garden’. Three hives and a beekeeping shed were set up earlier in the year ready for the arrival of the European honey bees.

Matthew Wood from the WoodMor Foundation was instrumental in donating the hives and equipment in order to launch the bee initiative. The bees were delivered more than 100 miles from Camphill, Wakefield, another specialist provider that is already working with WoodMor Foundation.

Matthew Wood visited College several times to offer advice and explain more about the benefits of the Derwen bees project.

The College is in the process of setting up BeeTV to follow the antics of the drones, workers and queen. A camera will be following the bees’ activities 24 hours a day. Soon, you’ll be able to watch our busy little pollinators from the live link on our website at

Students Sophie and Courtney have been selected as our student beekeepers. Horticulture student Sophie and retail student Courtney were chosen for their enthusiasm for wildlife and their work ethic towards nature.

Staff support has been supplied by Derwen Garden Centre Supervisor Will Lyon and Management Information Systems Manager Trevor Sharples, who is already an experienced beekeeper.

Horticulture student Sophie holds a fresh honeycomb from Derwen's new bee colonies.
Student Sophie helped the bees to settle in and collected honeycomb for her efforts.

Will said: “When I saw an advert posted by Raph Taylor, Employability Manager of Camphill for the ‘Becoming a beekeeper’, I just had to get involved. I have always loved honey, gardening and wildlife so this felt like a natural step to take. With Matthew’s enthusiasm and knowledge, not to mention the donation of the hives, I could not wait to get involved.”

The project offers an exciting specialist work experience opportunity in beekeeping, and will bring about Retail, Horticulture and Hospitality opportunities around Derwen honey and beeswax.


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