Forest of Hearts has been working with Stratford Men's Shed to create happy homes for bees this Summer, thanks to our funding partners at HoECF and Awards for All for supporting Make a Beeline.
Men's Shed is part of the UK Men's Shed Association - a registered charity which aims to reduce isolation in older men, giving them the opportunity to skills-share and socialise with other members in the community and enabling them to have shared access to tools and equipment.
Stratford's own Men's Shed is especially active, with many members attending up to 2-3 times a week. The men love to get creative and always have various personal projects on the go - as well as working on request projects from other members in the community.
The Shed members have been busy bees over recent months, fulfilling our request for two beehives to be built. It wasn't the most straightforward endeavour, we were told - many parts didn't seem to fit where they were meant to, so it was a challenge to piece it all together.
However, in the face of these complications, the men showed only persistence and inventiveness: in the end it all came together beautifully. Typical of their considerate characters, they added additional side pieces to keep the hives sturdy against our unpredictable British weather!
We are beyond happy with the hives---a WBC and a National---and we are pleased to announce that they are 2 of the first 3 hives to have been sited in our apiary last week. Through the support of local beekeepers, Amy Newsome, Chris Ricketts (Stratford Beekeepers Association) and Bernard Brown (Warwickshire Beekeepers Association), they are now happy homes to honeybee colonies.
We therefore want to send out an enormous wave of gratitude to the Stratford Men's Shed members for all their hard work in building the hives! Their time and commitment has fulfilled a great duty to our local bees, and we are buzzing with excitement to see how the colonies get on over the upcoming months.
Stay tuned to keep up-to-date with the Forest of Hearts and our apiary as it develops!