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Apiary Visitor Information

Before visiting the apiary we would like to give you some information that will make your visit more enjoyable and most importantly keep you as safe as possible.

Bees are social animals and their whole lives are concerned with making the colony in which they live as successful as possible. They do not wish to sting you – in fact when they do it kills the bee, so they have to have a really good reason to do so. The problem is that protecting the hive is one of those reasons and having a great big bear/human opening their hive can make them very upset if it is not done properly. This is why it is important to make sure that we do everything we can to not upset the bees and protect the people visiting our apiary.

What happens if I am stung?

When a bee stings you it injects an amount of venom into your body via its sting. Unlike many other stinging insects, however, honeybees leave their sting behind and this continues to pump venom into you until the venom sac is empty. Therefore if you are stung it is important to remove the stinger as soon as possible and you can do this by simply scraping the sting off your skin with a hard edge, e.g. the edge of a credit card. For the majority of people the effects of being stung are no more than a small amount of swelling, irritation and pain. There are some exceptions to this if you are stung in the mouth or throat, or have an allergy. People, who have had severe allergic reactions to insect stings in the past, will probably have a similar or worse reaction if stung again.

It is therefore vital that you inform us before visiting if you have an allergy to bee or other insect stings. Some susceptible individuals can go into anaphylactic shock when stung by bees and this can have serious and potentially fatal consequences.

What do I need to wear when visiting the Apiary?

You do not need to buy any specific clothing when visiting the Apiary as we have a supply of protective equipment (suits, hoods and gloves, no shoes) we can loan you during your visit. If you have your own bee suit/gloves please bring these with you.

You are outdoors and exposed to the weather so you should ideally wear Wellington boots, other types of boot or stout walking shoes (no heels or open tops) and clothing appropriate to the weather expected. If you have a zip up anorak please wear it.

Bees are very sensitive to smell so it is advisable not to wear strong perfumes, aftershave, deodorants etc

Please make us aware of any pre-existing medical conditions that may affect your safety while visiting the Apiary.

You will be escorted at all times by an experienced beekeeper and briefed at the beginning of your visit. In order to ensure the health and safety of yourself and others it is essential to follow the advice you are given. Bees are very sensitive to changes in their environment and inappropriate behavior around them may create risks to persons.

Many bees will be flying about but remember that you are wearing a protective suit. If you find that you are disturbed by the bees’ behaviour then simply walk away from the hives and wait for one of the instructors to join you. Anyone behaving inappropriately will be asked to leave the Apiary.

For further information or questions about your upcoming visit please contact Jim Hinshelwood via email.