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Local school takes top prize for honey

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Bees were back in the news this winter as The British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) hosted their first National Honey Week, raising awareness of the plight of the honey bee.

While beekeepers nationwide celebrate the end of the beekeeping season and prepare their hives for winter, the BBKA, a national charity supporting bees and beekeepers, hosted the awareness week (25 - 31 October) to promote understanding of the vital role bees play in sustaining our planet's ecosystems.

When one in three mouthfuls of the food we eat is dependent on pollination, at a time when English honey production is down by 33%, it's more important than ever to find ways to support sustainable beekeeping.

Josephine and Patrick Anderson, owners of Croft Mill Apartments in Hebden Bridge have been beekeeping since 2011.

Local school take top prize for honey

Their Son JD and his school, Scout Road Academy, both took prizes at this year's National Honey Show in London (25 - 31 October). JD said, "The school was delighted to retain the two first prizes in the honey composite plus an exhibition of beecraft classes by a junior school. Both the awarded shield and cup are now proudly displayed at the school."

Patrick commented, "Sustainable beekeeping puts the emphasis on the bees themselves rather than the honey they produce. Here at Croft Mill we regularly give talks on various bee related topics, and are involved with the International Bee Research Association collecting pollen samples during the summer months in the Calder Valley."

Their apartments created their very own nature reserve from a once tiny piece of fly-tipped land, by combining their two beehives and offering year-round food including a variety of wildflowers and bee friendly plants.

Josephine added, "In 2014 our bees collected 80 jars of honey, enough beeswax to make Christmas candles and some 30 jars of jostaberry jelly jam, a big favourite with guests who stay at Croft Mill."

Croft Mill's commitment to honeybee welfare is just one example of the environmental practices that awarded them the Gold Green Tourism Award, accredited by the Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS), the largest and most established sustainable certification programme in the world (See HebWeb News, 4 Nov)