New apiary opens at RHS Garden Harlow Carr to celebrate 100 years of bee-keeping in Harrogate and Ripon

A bee keeping association in Yorkshire which has a history that can be traced back 100 years has created quite a buzz around its centenary with a series of coinciding events to mark the special occasion.

A new teaching apiary was opened at RHS Garden Harlow Carr in Harrogate yesterday, on what was also World Bee Day, Friday 20th May, to celebrate the centenary of the Harrogate and Ripon Beekeepers’ Association (HRBKA).

The ceremony was led by the Mayor and Mayoress of Harrogate and the new education and teaching apiary has been provided by the RHS after extensive collaboration between the two societies.

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It is located at the top of South Field within the garden estate, behind Betsy the Bee, the giant bee sculpture and in summer houses up to 30 colonies, which are owned and managed by HRBKA.

Bee-keepers Sarah Haynes, right, and Anton Bennett tend to the bees in the brand-new teaching apiary opened at RHS Garden Harlow Carr to celebrate the centenary of the Harrogate and Ripon Beekeepers' Association (HRBKA).

At yesterday’s event HRBKA gave a live beekeeping demonstration and there was a virtual beehive giving visitors a glimpse into the hidden inner world of bees.

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Sarah Haynes, HRBKA Education Officer & Apiary Manager said: “The new apiary site is truly wonderful and an absolute joy to teach our beginners in.

“We love talking to the public and answering their questions whenever we are there, and it is a real privilege to work within these beautiful gardens all year round.

“HRBKA have a long history of working with the RHS and we are grateful for the opportunity to continue building on past and present relationships, bringing all the wonders and delights of beekeeping to visitors and students alike.”

World Bee Day 2022 also kicks off a whole week of half-term activities from May 28, which is all about bees and how important they are in our gardens.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is asking families to get ‘buzzy’, and discover the Power of Superbees, with a week of bee-themed activities planned at each of the five RHS Gardens around the country.

For RHS Harlow Carr it will be a hive of activity as visitors and families are encouraged to take up the Super Bee garden trail to discover more about the important role these pollinators play with crafts, workshops and demonstrations.

Harrogate and Ripon Beekeepers Association is an independent association that was founded in 1921. It has more than 350 members and has developed into a registered charity.

One of its main aims is to teach new beekeepers and educate the public about bees and the art of beekeeping through visits to schools, shows and demonstrations.