Floreant apes! Let the bees flourish!

A creative beekeeping project is well underway at the Parish of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity, North East Lincolnshire.

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Just over a month ago, the first honeybees took up residence in the newly installed hives, behind the parish hall at Corpus Christi Church in Cleethorpes.

The ‘St Valentine’s Beekeeping Group’, an initiative of the Catholic Community in North East Lincolnshire, hopes that once the bees have settled into their new homes, they will be able to produce honey and beeswax which will, in time, be sold to support parish funds and other charitable causes.

Over the last few months, parishioners and their parish priest have been receiving training in the care of bees from the local Louth Beekeeping Association. They have learned how hives, communities and colonies work, the ways in which queen bees, drones and worker bees develop and work together, how to care for bees as livestock, bee health, extracting honey and beeswax and much more. Alongside this, parishioners have been engaged in preparing space for the bees, making the hives and acquiring the necessary bits and bobs for beekeeping.

In an interview with BBC Radio Humberside about the project, Fr Andrew Cole Parish Priest spoke of the ancient tradition of the church in cultivating bees for honey and beeswax. He shared that many of the bee colonies in Britain and Western Europe owe their origins to a Benedictine Monk, Brother Adam Kerhle OSB, who started beekeeping at Buckfast Abbey, Devon during World War One. For Fr Andrew, the St Valentine’s Beekeeping Group is simply a matter of environmental justice. It is an expression of care and concern for our natural environment and a commitment to respecting, safeguarding and stewarding the gift we have been given in planet earth. Bees are essential to a healthy planet and to human flourishing. However due to habitat loss, climate change, certain pesticides and disease, there has been a 1/3 reduction in the bee population in Britain. The parish hopes that its beekeeping project will be a small but significant contribution to remedying this.

The bees are currently resident in two hives, named after the evangelists St Matthew and St Mark. Fr Andrew is looking to recruit and train more volunteers, so that next year that might add a St Luke and St John hive to their collection. The parish is very happy to welcome anyone who would like to learn more about beekeeping and if you have further questions, then email office@holytrinitygci.uk

Pictures of the project can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/holytrinitygci

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