Jun 2016

The buzz was no where near as loud as you expect being just feet away from over one million bee's, 1.2 to be precise. We spent the day up in Burnley where we met Seb Leaver and Dave Raynor. Seb is just one of handful of people in the UK on an apprenticeship funded by Rowse honey and the BFA training to become a Bee Farmer.

We met the guys in Townley park, a microclimate of the pennine area in Burnley. They are based at the Offshoots site, and as we walked through various plant life, allotments and green spaces it was obvious to see why this is a great place for bees, Seb told us “ we’ve got all of the bees favourite plants are right here, there is plenty of food for them”.

Seb started volunteered here after his zoology degree and loved it. He said “as soon as I heard about the apprenticeship with Rowse I just had to get on it”. He is into the 4th month of the 3 year apprenticeship and I could tell he hadn’t stopped smiling since it began. He talked with passion about bee’s, about their conservation and well being and brimmed with pride at the chance of becoming a UK Bee Farmer. The average age of a Bee Farmer in the UK is in the 60’s and there are approximately 2 hives per county, thats just 25% of the beehives needed in order to future-proof Britain’s bee count and boost honey production. The aim of the apprenticeship is to half the age of Bee Farmers and massively increase hive numbers.

“as soon as I heard about the apprenticeship with Rowse I just had to get on it”.

Dave Raynor is Seb’s mentor, he is a master Bee Keeper who has worked all around the world with bees and currently spends 3 days a week with Seb training him up and educating him on everything bees. They are a perfect fit, David is the calm experienced expert and Seb the enthusiastic excited new apprentice. Together they look after 42 hives in total, 23 are based here in Townley and over the next few years they want to increase the total closer to 100 hives.

It’s always a pleasure to meet people who are so passionate about their career and only 4 months in Seb looks to have a great future ahead of him thanks to this unique scheme. You can read more about becoming a Bee Farmer here.

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