Penrith Beekeepers Association
Keeping the planet buzzing!
Penrith Beekeepers Association (PBKA) was initially established in 1902 to help beekeepers develop their husbandry skills. Although our core aim has remained the same, the current decline in bees, for which the production of food for human consumption relies, has made that role particularly significant and vital. PBKA now has 3 key objectives:
a) The promotion and improvement of beekeeping in Penrith and the surrounding area.
b) The control and, where possible, the eradication of diseases and disorders of honeybees.
c) The raising of public awareness of the importance of bees and beekeeping to the environment.
The honey bee is experiencing unprecedented threats to its existence. During the last few years, unseasonal weather patterns , the varroa mite, the spread of other deadly viruses and the use of insecticides have all substantially reduced our bee stocks at both local and national levels. One in three mouthfuls of all the food that we eat depends on pollination by bees.
PBKA is trying to counteract this trend through its educational programmes with community groups and by the development in 2013, of its Association training Apiary based in the orchard at Acorn Bank, the National trust located just outside Penrith.
The apiary will provides opportunities for PBKA to:
• Train and support beginner beekeepers from across Cumbria
• Raise awareness of beekeeping with visitors to Acorn Bank, local schools and other relevant groups such as Young Farmers.
• Encourage and assist people to start beekeeping
• Promote the support of bee colonies through environmentally friendly husbandry
• Train established beekeepers to recognise and manage diseases which threaten bees
• Offset the decline in bee colonies by rearing queen bees which can be used to provide local bee keepers with suitable strains of bees for survival in Cumbria.
The association is run by a committee of local beekeepers. We support our member beekeepers who are drawn from the Penrith area and others who join from Carlisle and further afield in Cumbria. We liaise with community groups to provide talks, presentations and run a schools educational programme. This helps the general public become more aware of the need for bees and how they can help them survive by using less insecticides and growing bee friendly plants.
How would this funding have an impact on your community?
This funding would enable us to purchase an additional hive , made from polystyrene, for the apiary which would extend the opportunity for beekeepers to compare how hive designs and the material they are made from, help or hinder the capacity for bees to survive Cumbria's wet, cold climatic conditions. It would also enable us to produce more bees to distribute to beginner beekeepers.
"It is vital that bees are helped to survive. Their survival is our survival too. One in three of all the mouthfuls of food that we eat is dependent on bees for pollination. By helping Penrith Beekeepers Association you really will be helping to keep the planet buzzing!
Margaret Riches Beekeeper and Treasurer Penrith Beekeeper Association"