Bradford Beekeepers' Association celebrates T&A grant boost

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Bradford Beekeepers' Association chairman Paul Seage (left) with T&A editor Perry Austin-Clarke Bradford Beekeepers' Association chairman Paul Seage (left) with T&A editor Perry Austin-Clarke

A project that could create a real buzz with the district’s young people has been given a grant of almost £10,000.

The Gannett Foundation, run by the parent company of the Telegraph & Argus, has handed £9,713 to the Bradford Beekeepers’ Association, which plans to use the money to create a new “bee education project” they hope will turn youngsters into budding apiarists.

With bee populations falling to dangerously low levels in recent years, the group hopes to run sessions with young people.

They hope to involve schools, colleges and youth groups and bring children and young people aged 10 to 18 to their apiary, giving them the chance to see a working hive, honey extraction, make candles and learn about bee-friendly plants and trees. For older youths, the art of beekeeping as a small business will also be on the agenda.

Previous attempts to engage with such groups have been hit by the association’s limited resources.

Members will meet in the new year to draw up plans to move forward with the project. They hope to start having lessons at their apiary at Dudley Hill, Tong, by 2015.

David Lamont, vice-chairman and fundraiser of the group, said: “This is an idea we have had for over a year now. We’ve just been looking for ways to finance it. This will go a long way towards finishing the project.

“We have a few facilities there already, but it would be great to have a purpose-built building on site.

“Bees are under threat at the moment, so it would be great if we could educate young people about the species at a young age and promote interest in beekeeping. We need them interested because the species won’t survive without young people.”

He said the group hoped to involve young people from all cultural backgrounds.

Mr Lamont added: “We have a long way to go, but this grant couldn’t come at a better time for us.”

Telegraph & Argus editor Perry Austin-Clarke said: “We think this is a fantastic project and were really delighted when the trustees chose this as one of the schemes they wanted to support this year. I think it will have huge benefits for Bradford and we hope lots of schools and other organisations will follow our lead and get behind it.”

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