Apiculture (from Latin: apis “#bee“) is the maintenance of honey bee colonies, commonly in hives, by humans.
A beekeeper (or apiarist) keeps bees, to collect their honey, pollinate food crops, or to produce bees for sale to other beekeepers. A location where bees are kept is called an apiary or “bee yard.”
Keeper of Honeybees – BeekeeperTom is a full-time keeper of bees, although, in truth, the bees keep Tom.
A prolific swarm collector he will find a home for every swarm he collects.
- Blackmoor Estate, where successful pollination of the commercial apple and cherry orchards is paramount
- Heathrow Airport within their biodiversity program
- 24 beehives in 2016 that is nearly 1.3 million bees (Peak Summer 2016)
- 30 beehives in 2017 – 1.8 million bees
- PLUS 11 Native UK Honeybee breeding colonies
- AND a further 10 hives to be installed during 2018, that’s over 2.5 million bees in summer
Tom jokes that while Heathrow is indeed busy, his honeybees perform more take off and landings each day.
Introduction to Honeybees – Currently Tom is providing introductory courses to Heathrow staff.
Included in this activity is, as part of a local regeneration project, the transformation of approx. 2.5 acres of scrubland into a vibrant growing space with wildflowers, fruit, vegetables and native heathland.
Heathrow T5 Security volunteers started volunteering on the site in early April.
Over 1,500 staff in groups of 20 are donating their time, every Friday, across the next 18 months, in total an amazing 10,000 hours of work will be put into this project.
As part of the above, BeekeeperTom takes two groups of 10 volunteers, starting with a classroom introduction to precious honeybees, onto hands-on practical in the apiary, culminating in a honey tasting session to highlight the vast array of different kinds of honey.
Honey Bee Awareness – Providing education for schools, honey bees are the public relations face of insect pollinators, critical to the success of growing many food crops and plants.
Bee Improvement Program – BeekeeperTom has set up breeding programs in Hampshire and at Heathrow to improve local/native honeybees.
International Bee Research Association – BeekeeperTom donates time to the International Bee Research Association (IBRA). (IBRABee.org.uk) IBRA produce scientific apiculture journals and Bee World magazine.
For more information, please visit:
BeekeeperTom’s blog – www.beekblog.co.uk
Facebook page – www.facebook.com/blackmoorbees
Follow on Twitter – @Beekeeper_Tom
As an avid beekeeper, BeekeeperTom is also a prolific honeybee swarm collector, very active in protecting insect pollinators that pollinate our food crops.
He continues to set up pollination sanctuaries, where areas safe from immediate pesticide use, are seeded, to attract pollinators.