Burton Green resident Alan Deeley shares his journey from MBA student to community beekeeper on the Warwick campus.
Twenty-nine years ago, I was just completing my 3-year part time MBA at Warwick, and the qualification certainly helped to propel my career in IT with a global agricultural machinery manufacturer. I can still recall those twice weekly teaching sessions in Radcliffe House, and those difficult assignments!
After a long and interesting career, I finally retired 6 years ago and had the opportunity to take up a hobby that had always fascinated me, but I just never had the time to pursue; I became a beekeeper.
After attending a Beekeeping Introductory Training course locally, I was assigned a mentor who just so happened to have bees in a small apiary on the University campus. We had to move the apiary in 2019 to make way for the new Sports and Wellness Hub, but we were fortunate to be allocated an alternative site, which now houses around 12 colonies of honeybees.
I work alongside a former employee of the University who recently retired, and we also support any students who are interested in learning about keeping bees. Unfortunately, the Covid pandemic has prevented students from joining us in the past year, but we were legally permitted to tend to our bees throughout the various lockdown periods.
The University is an ideal location for honeybees with a rich diversity of flora across the campus and in the surrounding countryside. With spring well and truly underway, the bees are currently very active; foraging and building up the colony for the main honey flow season in late summer.
I have other apiaries in the area and I sell my Burton Green Honey to the local community. I also deal with swarms of honeybees and in pre-Covid times I gave talks on beekeeping to local schools and associations.
So I feel that I have gone full circle at the University, with weekly visits to the campus once again – though this time some of these visits literally have a sting in the tail!
If you’re interested in being involved in something like this, or have an idea, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org