Creating a buzz! Norfolk sixth form celebrates world’s first ever bee day

Dereham Sixth Form College celebrated World Bee Day. Picture: Dereham Sixth Form

Dereham Sixth Form College celebrated World Bee Day. Picture: Dereham Sixth Form - Credit: Archant

Norfolk students have celebrated the world's first day dedicated to bees by turning an area of their college into a 'bee friendly' garden.

A beekeeper from the West Norfolk and King's Lynn Beekeepers' Association (WNKLBA) helped students at Dereham Sixth Form College to celebrate the first World Bee Day on May 20 by creating the garden.

Beekeeper, Venetia Rist, is a member of the association's education team and has been a beekeeper for over 50 years.

All of the plants and seeds for the garden were donated by students and staff and all of the planting and digging was completed by the college's Bee Club.

Ms Rist gave a speech to the students about the importance of bees to humans and said that without them the ecosystems of the world would be very different, with few fruits and less vegetables.

She went on to explain how bees are struggling to survive as weather conditions are not always suitable for foraging and that varroa mites and the viruses they carry are destroying hives.

The mites arrived in the UK in 1992 and UK bee species have not evolved sufficiently yet to adapt to this problem. Loss of habitat is also major issue and wild bees have very little chance of establishing a productive hive and surviving due to these threats.

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Ms Rist finished by stating that establishing a bee garden that attracts bees and that bees can forage in is a 'wonderful' addition to the college.

The Bee Club will continue to meet regularly and maintain the garden for the near future.

World Bee Day was created after Slovenia proposed it to the United Nations. It was formally recognised on December 20, 2017, with the UN member states unanimously approving Slovenia's proposal to make May 20 World Bee Day.

Following the approval vote, the World Bee Day website was launched to present the initiative, encourage its implementation and raise awareness of the importance of bees and beekeeping.

It also provides information on major beekeeping events around the world and Bee Day celebrations. This year events were held in countries such as Greece, India and Canada.

To find out more about the day visit World Bee Day website. For information on Norfolk's beekeeper association visit their website.