Harvey Boughey shares Sheffield Beekeeping Society’s future aspirations, how beekeeping is sustainable and why you should consider getting involved in the community!
Starting, running or maintaining a society is difficult at the best of times but when that society relies so heavily on the weather and you’re in t’north that’s another dynamic. Here at the University of Sheffield Beekeeping Society, we are proud to have flourished for another year and would like to show you what we plan for the near future and provide whatever support we can to help others get started.
What to expect for 2019
After one our most successful summers for a number of years we are really looking forward to the new academic year and beyond to get stuck into society life. During our exceptional summer our two hives have continued to grow with one of them yielding enough honey for our first extraction in four years, we also re-queened one of our weaker hives in the hope of a strong colony and harvest from them next year. We’ve been working diligently to rebrand the society, make it more inclusive for all members and search for sponsorship and we have plenty left to do in the months.
Our most exciting event before Christmas is our honey extraction, it has been a number of years since we’ve had such a successful season and allows our members to experience what is arguably the most satisfying part of being a beekeeper. We do not currently have our own extractor, so borrow one from the Sheffield Beekeeping Association. We plan to sell the honey we have at our SU shop, with the market society or sell it to our members. Raw unpasteurised honey is totally different from what you buy in the supermarket, not only does it contain bee proteins with supposed medical benefits it also crystallises; commercial runny honey is heated to prevent this and pasteurize it. By far though the biggest difference is the taste, the difference is striking, the blend of flavours from your local flora really comes together to produce a product which is unique each time and will have you hooked for years to come.
As with all societies socials are a central part, this year our plans include:
- Collaborative socials in order to increase society exposure and broaden the genres of socials we can put on. We hope to work with the real ales society to produce a honey ale or mead, have some join society talks with the vegan/vegetarian society, produce wax wraps together with stitch soc as well as revitalising rough ground with bee friendly flowers by our hives in collaboration with the allotment society.
- Running our normal socials as well some new ones. We have the honey extraction, candle making wax reclamation and our hive visits which awe have run for years, however this coming year we want to expand our repertoire. We hope to run wax polish making, empty hive lessons for those interested in the hive setup, mead brewery tour and tasting, informative talks and tasting different types of honeys.
- We hope that these future socials will improve society uptake and keep members involved, and of course we shall be running some nights out.
About The Author: Harvey Boughey studies at the University of Sheffield. Read more about beekeeping in his latest article ‘Top Tips for Beekeeping‘!