Sheffield students buzzing about new bee-keeping initiative

David Richards with pupils at Stocksbridge Junior SchoolDavid Richards with pupils at Stocksbridge Junior School
David Richards with pupils at Stocksbridge Junior School | Bruce Rollinson
An international charity is expanding its beekeeping initiative to help more young people in South Yorkshire learn about nature and ecology.

Students from five schools and one college campus in the region will benefit from the installation of new apiaries, which is being supported by The David and Jane Richards Family Foundation.

The foundation - which aims to educate, empower, and improve the lives of children - will provide comprehensive practical training through its beekeeping consultant, Yvonne Kilvington, along with donations to cover equipment, national school membership of the British Beekeepers Association, individual membership of the local association, and the purchase of bees, at Oughtibridge Primary School, Stannington Infant School, Stocksbridge Junior School, Chaucer School, and The Sheffield College.

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David and Jane Richards are both passionate about protecting bee populations and see beekeeping as a valuable way of introducing children to a wide range of important subjects.

David said: “We need a healthy bee population for food security, sustainable farming, biodiversity and environmental protection. The apiaries will be a valuable teaching resource to enrich the curriculum and help children learn about the living world around them.”

Their foundation launched its beekeeping initiative at a Sheffield primary school last summer - believed to be the first in the city to have beehives and a colony of bees on site.

Samantha Gaymond, headteacher at Stocksbridge Junior School, said: “We hope the bees will become an integral part of our wider curriculum. Happy bees will enrich the learning experience and strengthen community relationships. We feel very fortunate to be part of such a special project.”