It's just over a year since we first came up with the idea of starting the community beekeeping scheme that became Norwich Community Bees. Last March I had no idea of how much hard work it might be to turn that idea into reality, nor how emotionally attached it was possible to become.
We spent last summer getting things started, sourcing kit (thanks again Beechwood Bees!), getting the group bank account set up, putting the hive together and finally, at the end of summer, we managed to get a swarm installed. It was such an exciting event!
Sadly, so very sadly, our first colony died over the winter, and Erik had to share the bad news with the group. I felt absolutely gutted when I heard, feelings I'd never have thought I'd experience in the context of a group of insects. Lots of people clearly felt the same, as I had mails from friends and people I'd never met before, all offering condolences and, just as important, encouragement. Bees are having a hard time at the moment, it's not uncommon to lose a hive.
So, onwards and upwards. I'm still hugely enthusiastic about what we're doing here, and so, clearly, is the group. We have our first meeting of 2012 planned for Sunday 29th April, up at the Norwich Farmshare site, when we'll be sorting out everything in preparation for a new swarm and making up frames.
We're always keen to welcome to new members - membership for 2012 is only £20 and for that you'll get an equal share in whatever honey our lovely bees produce, as well as the opportunity to get involved in making hives and looking after the bees themselves. Membership also makes a great gift!
You can find more information on our website at www.norwichcommunitybees.blogspot.com or you can mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to hear from you!
Pic: www.treehugger.com (Creative Commons)