Beacon Schools BBKA Beacon Schools Mission Statement BBKA Beacon School status is awarded to those schools who demonstrate sustained best practice in beekeeping and apiculture acting as Centres of Excellence in the provision of on-site school apiaries and bee clubs. Beacon schools will educate their pupils about the enjoyment and appreciation of beekeeping and increase awareness in young people of the importance of bees and other pollinating insects in the environment, plus sharing their knowledge not only with other schools but also with their local communities. The aim is to establish a pool of schools with the required knowledge, experience and set up to provide support to others and to demonstrate the wide-ranging benefits to children keeping bees can bring. Beacon Schools should: Show sustained commitment to beekeeping with an on-site apiary registered on BeeBase Follow an established curriculum related to beekeeping Provide a beekeeping resource centre for other schools Be available to give advice to other schools which wish to establish beekeeping. This may include information for parents, teachers and governors. Be able to demonstrate to others the advantages to pupils of keeping bees at school Demonstrate an excellent standard of school beekeeping Provide positive encouragement to young people about the advantages and benefits of beekeeping Establish links, provide opportunities and demonstrate relevant knowledge which encourages the wider community to understand and value bees Establish links with and give support to other local beekeeping schools andencourage pupils to undertake the BBKA Junior Certificate Be aware that schools awarded Beacon status will be re-visited to ensure standards are maintained. We currently have two Beacon schools; Ashbrow School and Heron Hill School. Both of these schools work closely with the BBKA and have contributed to the ten point framework outlined above as well as working with us to ensure information and support is available for all schools who may be interested in beekeeping. They are a valuable source of advice for other schools who are looking to set up an apiary. A quote from Ashbrow School: “We have had our school apiary for 8 years now and our children love the bees. They learn such a lot through hands on experiences like this. Our children inspect the hives, learn about bees and beekeeping and each year have a go at bee breeding through grafting, cupkit, and cell punching techniques, honey extraction and bottling, and candle and cosmetic making. We host an annual beekeeping festival for schools, and welcome others to our apiary. We offer help and advice to anyone who wishes to learn about bees and in particular setting up beehives in schools so please get in touch. We are very proud of what we have achieved and what is still to come. The joy that beekeeping brings to our school is priceless. We are committed to providing an outdoor environment that cares for all our wildlife and all our pollinators and offers our children experiences that they will never forget, and we will continue to do so in years to come.” For more information about becoming a Beacon School please contact [email protected] It is important we educate and enthuse children and young people as these are the beekeepers of the future!