Buzzworks Association Hitchin is a registered charity. Its membership is made up of both local beekeepers and members of the public who have an interest in the environment, conservation or just want to spend some of their spare time helping out.
Education: We aim to educate the public (and children especially) about how honey bees live, how they pollinate plants (necessary for food for us as well as wildlife), how they produce honey and why their survival is at risk and they need our help. We believe it is important for everyone to understand the role of honey bees in our environment so they can help ensure their survival.
Training: We aim to train new and improver beekeepers. Beekeepers are recognised by governments across the world as having a vital role in maintaining the health of the honey bee in the presence of pests and diseases that have had a severe impact on honey bee populations over the last 50 years. Honey bees have a national importance for pollination of food crops so training beekeepers in good beekeeping practices and increasing the number of beekeepers is of direct benefit to food producers in particular and to the public in general.
Buzzworks association was founded in 2007 as a non-profit making, voluntary group and started with our creation of the Buzzworks Discovery Centre, off Old Hale way allotment in Hitchin. The initial development was funded through a number of grants from the council and local businesses, allowing us to create the Discovery Centre, comprising bee-friendly garden, Bee School and courtyard, is open for family, school and group visits. The garden is planted with flowers and vegetables that need bees. The Bee School has an educational exhibition in six chapters which explains the fascinating world of the honey bee, while an observation hive gives a close-up view of honey bees at work. Courtyard tables provide an outdoor classroom and a place to picnic. This fully accessible site is open to the public on selected days between May and September. The site also support a small number of bee hives that not only produce honey for our market stall, but can observed from the shelters and on some occasions used to give visitors the experience of looking inside a beehive.
Following the successful development of BuzzWorks Discovery Centre, North Herts District Council leased a further piece of abandoned land on Burford Way Allotments in 2009 to BuzzWorks Association Hitchin to develop a beekeeping centre. The site was cleared of scrub by hand and laid out with paths, hedges, a wild flower meadow, fruit trees, lawn and bee hives, using voluntary labour. Additional funding was obtained in 2010 to allow the erection of a number of buildings and the creation of a large wildlife pond. This has developed into what is now known as the Honeyworks Beekeeping centre and is not only a working apiary that produces the Honey we sell on our market stall, but is used as our main training centre for new and improving beekeepers.