Local beekeeper Graham Battershill met the hospice’s Palliative Rehabilitative Assistant, Emma Shaw, at a fundraising event and asked if the hospice had ever considered keeping bees, as he thought the hospice grounds would make the perfect location with a hive facing out onto the surrounding fields.
He suggested they could profit from the sale of honey, so after some discussions the hospice team decided that it would be a great way to raise funds while helping the environment.
Graham discovered that fellow beekeeper Jane Atkins was looking to rehome her hive and was willing to donate it to the hospice. He also secured a donation of £100 worth of beekeeping equipment from EH Thorne (Beehives) LTD, including a spare suit which will allow patients and carers to observe the bees at work if they wish.
Emma, who manages the patient gardening group and the kitchen garden, said:
“We have a patient who has been attending the circuit exercise to help him gain enough self-assurance, motivation and exercise tolerance to re-establish his lost hobby of beekeeping, and now having a hive on site with Graham’s help we can encourage and support him further to meet his goal.”
Graham delivered the hive to the hospice and returned a few days later to ensure the Queen and her bees were happy in their new location. He will visit the hospice regularly to care for the hive and harvest the honey which will be sold to raise funds for the charity.
The patient gardening group has been sowing seeds to feed the bees and other pollinators, such as calendula, cosmos and echinacea. They also produce tomatoes, chillies, peppers, potatoes, sweetcorn and strawberries for sale throughout the year.
For more information visit The Norfolk Hospice