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British Black Bee Sanctuary (Sussex)
£2,240 raised
37% of £6k goal
101 contributors
3 Years running
A project group based in East Sussex establishing a native British black bee (apis mellifera mellifera) sanctuary on Langney Marshes, Eastbourne.  It has been known for some time now that honeybees are in the decline. As a branch of the ...

A project group based in East Sussex establishing a native British black bee (apis mellifera mellifera) sanctuary on Langney Marshes, Eastbourne. 

It has been known for some time now that honeybees are in the decline. As a branch of the Sussex Natural Beekeeping Group we know that 'natural beekeeping' methods both benefit the bees and therefore also the environment. 

The UK's only indigenous bee species, the 'British Black Bee' is endangered and almost extinct. Our ambition is to be able to provide healthy colonies of black bees to Sussex beekeepers. 

The marshes where the sanctuary will reside are part of what was once Europe's second largest Bronze Age site and are currently leased by West Rise Jounior School. The bee sanctuary will build upon and support the school's wider heritage restoration and educational project on the site.

What we'll do:

  • Provide a resource of healthy native black bees into Sussex gene pool.
  • Provide an educational resource within East Sussex for sustainable, natural beekeeping methods
  • Raise awareness of the relationship between bees, humans and the environment.
  • Provide educational workshops for school children based around bees and the hive.

Why it's a great idea:

We believe that this will be a highly valuable resource for the local environment (in the providing of healthy British black bee stock). The decline of honeybees in this country and around the world has caused great concern of late and it is our belief that a 'natural beekeeping' method, or more bee-centric approach can greatly support our struggling bee population, on whom we rely heavily for the pollination of many of our crops. 

The project underway already on the marshes by West Rise Jounior School is seeing great success in introducing the children to a variety of outdoor activities as well as providing a Bronze Age heritage site with their water buffalo herd. The bee sanctuary will enrich this important work.

How we'll get it done:

  • Establish up to eight 'natural' bee hives on the site, including a variety of ;
  • -adapted Nationals, -Warre hives, -skeps and -hollowed logs.
  • Maintain the land and hives, collecting swarms for sale into the community.
  • Erect a simple structure on the site for equipment and educational resources.
  • Build a raised area to keep the bees away from flood water in winter.
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