Hampton has been buzzing lately with the arrival of the new School beehives
Having taken delivery of two colonies of bees at the start of the term, the newly formed Beekeeping Club transferred them into the two bee hives that were purchased with donations from the Hampton School Parents Association. The hives have been placed on a patch of land at the far north-east corner of the School playing fields, between the fence bounding the fields and the Longford River. Here they are at low risk of being disturbed whilst being close to water (which they need to drink) and are relatively easy to access from the school.
To handle the bees, Hampton has bought six bee suits and the aim is very much to get students being hands on with the project. Boys and staff helped with the initial construction of the hives and some of the frames which go inside them. Recently the club had the first chance to try on the suits and oversee the hives. Each week the beekeepers will observe the new arrivals and complete any of the jobs that need doing; feeding them, checking for growth of the colony and any disease threats.
Currently, it is a project that just involves Hampton staff and pupils, but it is hoped that this resource can be shared with other parties in the future, especially local schools and potentially residents too.
Head of Biology, Mr Phil Langton, explained the motives behind keeping the bees:
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We decided to set up a Beekeeping Club at Hampton for a number of reasons, not least because they are such fascinating insects with so much biology to learn from them. Bees are also in national and international decline for a number of reasons so it is hoped that we can raise awareness of the issues facing bees both within the school community and beyond. Oh, and we hope to make/collect some ‘Hampton Honey’ too!