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Lecturers & Speakers Communications Winter Honey Bee Losses in England 2007-2010 News from the Trustees - Positive Thinking Link Trustees First of all we have some changes with the relationship between the Link associations and the Link Trustees, these will be shown on the new Web Site and I am sure that your own Link Trustee will also make contact. The New All Risks Insurance Cover is now in place with Buckland Harvester hosting a website so that you can subscribe directly with them, it sounds very good, at £12 a year for cover of £5,000 of equipment including bees, if you have buildings there is a sliding scale so you can see exactly what is covered for the various premiums. The Bees in the Curriculum Is on target to be ready for the spring convention, you would not believe the effort and the various contributions from Beekeepers of all standings. I was able to go through the printed matter and it is certainly excellent from the descriptions to the photographs, the original one was good, but this one is in a different league. It will be available on a memory stick for those who want a copy and it is designed to go into schools so it is part of the teaching programme. Schools Another venture which is nearing completion is the School Pack, designed for beekeepers who visit schools and spread the word, last week my car was completely full of bags and boxes of materials for the haversacks, Sue Webster has designed these and she will be making sure that everything is assembled in time for Harper Adams. We have a new member of staff in the Office, Michelle Walsh joined the team last week and her role is to support Jacqueline in the account section and also to help in the main office when things become hectic, which they often do. This appointment is because Anna Chapman who has been looking after the accounts for the BBKA will be leaving to have her baby, I hope you all join me in wishing her well in the future, I am sure she will make an excellent mother and will thoroughly enjoy being home with her family. The bookings for the Spring Convention are coming in thick and fast, so if you want to join a workshop, please apply sooner rather than later. Talks have started with the Scout Association. This contact is the direct result of our specific request to see if we could encourage them to reintroduce their Beekeeping Badge. The Scouts are very keen to work with the BBKA but their badge programme has evolved. They now offer an Environmental Protection Badge for which beekeeping could be a qualifying activity. The Scouts would be keen to develop a relationship which provides a programme that; * Delivers an activity in which beekeeping could be demonstrated to a whole group * provides an opportunity for those who develop a particular interest in beekeeping to be supported in to the activity We will also work with the Scouts to see how the BBKA’s existing series of qualifications could support scouts who wish to work towards their Environmental Conservation badge. The Scout Association is the leading youth activity organisation. The information below is as a result of initiating a programme with schools to discover how best to help get children interested in bees whilst they are still of a school age. Howard Towl joined us last year and here is a copy of his report. I am sure you will find this very interesting. Read on: Bees in schools, by Howard Towl The British Beekeepers’ Association (BBKA) exists to promote beekeeping and to advance education about bees in the environment. To help meet these aims, it is consulting with schools to discover how best to support them. The schools’ consultation is moving on apace with over one-hundred having now responded. The National Beekeeping Centre in Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire is receiving an average of three enquires each day from schools considering keeping honeybees. The BBKA started its consultation by speaking with known beekeeping schools. The schools have been explaining how they use bees in the education and development of their young people. Some schools have found imaginative ways of linking bees to the curriculum and others prefer an extra-curricular approach. All of them said how their bees have become woven into the fabric of school life. Matthew Jessop, head of Crosthwaite CE School in Cumbria explained the extent of involvement at his school “several teachers attended training and one of the governors is a beekeeper. We have excellent support from Cumbria Beekeepers’ Association and the children are involved in all aspects including the honey harvest and frame-making.” The most surprising finding from the study perhaps is the significant body of evidence emerging on how beekeeping can benefit young people with challenging behaviours or those with special educational needs. The project officer for the schools’ consultation, Howard Towl said “I was amazed to hear just how much beekeeping can help. I’ve already met some really inspiring young people who have used the skills they’ve learnt in beekeeping to help them in their everyday lives.” This came as no surprise to Jacqui Cottam, chair of governors at Heron Hill School in Kendal who said that it was a local beekeeper who helped her through her difficult schooling. “Now I keep bees at the school and support older children at other schools. With the help of our local bee inspector Julie Piggott, we’re prioritising those kids who sometimes need extra help.” THE BBKA is developing a project to get more schools interested in beekeeping. “This might be running an apiary themselves or sharing one with other schools or visiting the National Beekeeping Centre near Kenilworth or an apiary near their school”. Explained Margaret Murdin, President of the British Beekeepers’ Association. “We want to hear from schools to help us decide the shape of our future project.” The average age of a UK beekeeper is somewhere near retirement age and honeybees face an ever-increasing range of threats including pollution, pesticides, disease and loss of habitat. The BBKA believes that the best hope for the future lies with our young people. “We also know that bees and beekeeping offers an exciting range of educational opportunities for schools.” Markus Kling at Ardingly College near Haywards Heath has run a beekeeping club for there for over ten years. He has helped several students through the basic exam. Markus is one of many teachers who would like to see the BBKA develop better materials to support teaching. Best wishes The Trustees.