Based on the successful grant programme in the US, The Honey Bee programme is designed to raise awareness of the vital importance of honey bees in food production and to introduce teachers to the wonders of keeping bees at school.
School Food Matters will be offering three avenues of exploration for schools that are considering introducing honey bees as a fascinating and uniquely different learning resource:
- Visit from a bee-keeper with observation hives.
In June, six schools will have the opportunity to host a visit from an experienced bee-keeper from London Beekeepers Association. These sessions will be for up to 30 children and will include topics such as: honey bees and other bees, anatomy, the nest and life cycle; bees, the importance of bees in food production; products from the hive; honey, wax and propolis.
- Taster session for teachers.
Inspired by the visit from a beekeeper, teachers will attend a taster session in September to be delivered by London Beekeepers Association to carefully consider the big step of introducing bees into a school environment. Teachers will be signposted to the bee-keeping training required to keep a colony at school and will understand how the school site needs to be prepared to accommodate a colony. The session will include information about planting for forage, colony management throughout the year (including school holidays) and the budget required for both set-up and operating costs.
- Apply for a honey bee grant.
Schools that fulfil the criteria below can apply for funding for equipment to set up a project at school. Grants of up to £1,500 will be available from a funding pot of £9,000. Schools will only be able to apply if they have:
- commissioned a risk assessment/feasibility study
- completed a bee-keeping course with a local bee-keeping association (BBKA Bee Basic or equivalent) with a minimum of two members of staff
- formed a ‘bee team’ of at least three members of staff
- identified a ‘bee mentor’ from a local bee-keeping association to support the project throughout its first year.
Schools with established honey bee projects, who wish to develop their projects further, may also apply if they fulfil the requirements above.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
School Food Matters are piloting the Honey Bee Programme in 2018 and have funding for the following:
- Visits by London Beekeepers Association to six schools in London
- Places for 12 teachers from six schools on our taster session at a London apiary
- Six grants of up to £1,500 for equipment.
Visit the School Food Matters Website for more details.