Reigate Beekeepers are always happy to have public involvement in what we do, and sponsoring a hive is a great way to help the nation’s bees, without becoming a beekeeper.
If you participate in our ‘sponsor a bee hive’ scheme we can offer you the chance to visit and see the hive (all safety equipment provided). A brand new hive is purchased, and, along with a certificate, the hive itself has the name of the sponsor.
Sponsoring a hive can form part of a school or community project
For schools, if you want to sponsor a hive you can join our ‘adopt a bee hive’ programme. We will give you updates about your hive, visit the school to talk to your classes about beekeeping and show them a range of items, such as equipment, hive equipment, honey etc. With sufficient notice, we may also be able to attend with an observation live bee hive.
Hive sponsors have to date been families making a gift of sponsorship to a family member such as a grandparent or grandchild and also schools.
Currently we have four hives which are sponsored, two by individuals, with the other two being managed on behalf of St Martin’s CofE Primary School in Dorking and are sited near to the school.
One of the colonies in these two hives did not survive the harsh winter of 2012/13. So our beekeepers created a nucleus (mini) colony from the remaining colony. This has now produced a new Queen which is now laying well & is shown below. This year’s Queens are wearing Red!
As well as showing the Queen bee and just some of her attendant Worker bees, this picture of just one corner of one of the frames inside a hive also shows cells with eggs, larvae, sealed brood, pollen stores and honey stores. Can you spot which are which? Also check out St Martin’s own website for their own updates on how ‘their’ Bees are doing.
Sponsorship is easy and rewarding
Making a donation enables Reigate Beekeepers to purchase the equipment necessary to set up and maintain a new hive. The typical donation to fully sponsor a hive is £200 and this will enable Reigate Beekeepers to buy a new hive, fill it with bees, and look after them to pollinate flowers and plants in the countryside and produce honey.
The hive is usually sited at one of Reigate Beekeepers’ apiaries in south-east Surrey although, we have also sited sponsored hives in other locations such as community projects. The hive has a plaque recording the name of the donor and we usually have a hive launch occasion when the donor comes to the apiary to see the hive. We provide a jar of honey or two from the first crop. We are also happy to make follow-up visits by arrangement, and we will keep you updated about the progress of your bees.
If you would like to make a partial donation towards the cost of a complete hive, we can also combine individual contributions – please do get in touch.
Please click Sponsor-a-Hive and use the form to make an offer or to request more information.
Words from a Sponsor
“My husband is a beekeeper and a member of the Reigate Beekeepers. I had been trying to think of a gift to give to my children’s school, St Martin’s Primary School in Dorking and my husband mentioned that the Reigate Beekeepers offered hive sponsorship. This seemed to be the ideal gift, not only providing the children with an ongoing learning experience, but also supporting the community and the environment. Since sponsoring two hives for the school back in May 2012, the school have included the bees into their learning. The children have watched a hive being built, heard talks by beekeepers, and get regular updates on the progress of their hives. They have also received some honey from the bees to try. My hope is that the hives will generate learning for years to come.”
This photograph shows a very unusual donation. A Reigate Beekeepers member looks at our ‘log hive’, which was delivered to us by some tree surgeons who found the colony of bees in a tree that was being felled. A section of the trunk from the tree was chopped out and brought to our club apiary, where we transferred the bees to a new secure home in one of our hives.