Bees N Business

We all know that trees and woods are essential to filter our air, but without bees to pollinate the food we need to survive and pollinate many of the trees and flowers that provide habitats for wildlife it would not be possible to fill our plates at dinner time.

In the 1950s and 1960s industrial agriculture wiped out 97% of England’s wildflowers, which the bees depended on. Increased pesticide use also took a deadly toll. Short-haired bumblebees were last seen in the U.K. in 1988 and were declared extinct in 2000.

This is such a sad story but one that beekeepers today such as Simon and Becky Lawton from Bees N Business are helping us to never repeat.

On a sunny evening in June, Read This magazine’s Neil and Andy headed to meet Simon, Becky and their 250,000 bees and learn how business can help bees to survive and thrive in the future.

Simon, a multiple entrepreneur runs the very successful Vermin Go pest control business which features in the magazine. Getting into the bees’ business was not planned but perhaps a bi-product of the work he does. However, we are not sure if there is anyone out there more passionate and knowledgeable than he when it comes to the subject of bees.

The evening started with a meeting under the spire at Middleton Cheney Church. We arrived early and had been told that the hives were under the spire. After donning our beekeeper suits, we headed to the hives.

Both Simon and Becky were very keen to ensure our safety showing us the best way to approach and how to act when we are in close contact. Simon explained how the politics of the hive worked, from the bees that guard the entrance, the behaviours of the males and the queens and how they swarm when a queen is ready to leave the hive. It was a truly fascinating experience, made all the more exciting knowing that you have thousands of bees all around you.

Of course, beekeepers and their visitors will always suffer the odd sting and this visit was no exception. “I didn’t know that the bees have a defence mechanism in that once one stings others follow. But my ankle found out!” said Andy. Which shows just how important it is to be with trained professionals in this kind of environment.

We are delighted to say that we are now working with Simon and Becky to build our own colony of Read This magazine bees to help pollinate our community.

Over the coming months, we will bring you updates in both the magazine and online as our hive grows. We are all so excited about this project and we encourage all business owners to contact Simon to sponsor their own hive. Do it for your business, do it for your community, do it for our wildlife and do it because the honey is the best we have ever tasted.

To get your hive today call Simon on 07782 823434 or visit: www.beesnbusiness.com