Bee apiary launched at The Alnwick Garden

The Alnwick Garden has launched a new Bee Apiary and Climate Action Hub as part of its commitment to reach net zero by 2030.
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Funds for the apiary were donated by David Tennant, in memory of his late wife Mavis or ‘M’ as she was known, with a memorial plaque in her memory.

The Duchess of Northumberland attended to officially open the hub, which now homes four active hives of Northumbrian honey bees.

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The “garden for all” is dedicated to doing what it can to fight against the climate change emergency and ensuring that all members of the community are educated in what they can do to help protect the planet.

Craig Ellis, the Climate Action Programme manager.Craig Ellis, the Climate Action Programme manager.
Craig Ellis, the Climate Action Programme manager.

The Climate Action Hub will be open to everyone, including primary school children, A-level students, or curious members of the community. Each programme will be tailored to ensure that the experience is unique for every visitor, and speaks to their interests.

Craig Ellis, the climate action programme manager said: “I’m delighted to see the Climate Action Hub and Bee Apiary up and running in time for the new term.

“While it is only one step on The Garden’s journey to net zero, it’s sure to have a ripple effect across the community. Our workshop programme combines education and enjoyment, which makes it more likely that visitors will engage and learn new things.

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“As a visitor attraction, we strive to be an industry leader for sustainability in tourism. We are passionate about helping other tourist destinations in the area improve their practices and make the sector more environmentally friendly.

David Tennant and The Duchess of Northumberland at the launch of the Climate Action Hub and Bee Apiary at The Alnwick Garden.David Tennant and The Duchess of Northumberland at the launch of the Climate Action Hub and Bee Apiary at The Alnwick Garden.
David Tennant and The Duchess of Northumberland at the launch of the Climate Action Hub and Bee Apiary at The Alnwick Garden.

“Plus, visitors should keep their eyes peeled for a new, limited edition honey created by our bees, which we’re hoping will hit the shelves of our gift shop over the coming years.”

A-level students studying environmental science at the Duchess’s Community High School attended the opening for their first workshop at the apiary.

One student said: “It gives us a lot of understanding and depth to what we are learning about.”

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Another spoke of how it helps them to learn about the different eco-systems and how they work together.

David Tennant donated to the bee apiary following the death of his wife, Mavis,, as she wanted to contribute to something educational.David Tennant donated to the bee apiary following the death of his wife, Mavis,, as she wanted to contribute to something educational.
David Tennant donated to the bee apiary following the death of his wife, Mavis,, as she wanted to contribute to something educational.

Alongside the significance of the Bee Apiary for visitors, it will also play an important role in helping vulnerable members of the community expand their skill set.

One particular opportunity will be to help people become competent in the craft of beekeeping, how to use bees as a business, and learn skills in marketing to sell honey.

Claire Mitchell, strategic head of community and education at The Alnwick Garden said: “It’s fantastic to have a new component of The Garden that will unlock potential for so many groups across the community.

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“The apiary has been made possible by a generous benefactor, David Tennant, who regularly visited The Garden with his wife, Mavis.

A-level students studying environmental science at DCHS.A-level students studying environmental science at DCHS.
A-level students studying environmental science at DCHS.

“After Mavis passed away, David funded the bee apiary to ensure that her legacy would benefit others through education.

“The meaning the bee apiary holds makes it all the more special. It is certain to enhance the visitor experience, and we hope it will also enrich people’s lives.

The bee apiary is open for workshops and educational sessions as part of the garden’s Climate Action Programme and can be booked on their website.

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