The Bee Shed 

The Bee Shed Est. Jan 13th 2013 




  1. What is the talk about?

    The content of the talk is quite varied dependant on who is in the audience. For the younger visitors it will cover categories of bees, insect life cycle, stings, swarms, pollination, honey, beeswax, the waggle dance, how we are affecting the bees environment and how we can change our behaviour.

    For the adults all of the above in greater depth plus more about the history of our relationship with the bees and beekeeping in general.

  2. What comes after the talk?

    For the younger visitor a rotating series of activities which include solitary bee hive making, study sheets based on the displays in the shed, microscope slides and magnifying insect cubes.

    Then we have the apiary visit where we get to see the honey bees up close in all of the protective gear.

    For the more mature visitor a longer more in depth apairy visit is laid on and of course refreshments.

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  1. Am I likely to get stung?

    While every effort is made to prevent you getting stung (suit, veil, gloves and wellingtons) there is a chance that it may happen. If you know you are allergic to bee or wasp stings you must not enter the apiary.   

  2. How much does a bee sting hurt?

     Dr. Justin O Schmidt, an entomologist recently retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Tucson Carl Hayden Bee Research Center, felt the need to create a ranking system for insect stings. More specifically Hymenoptera stings, the order of insects that includes bees, wasps, ants and sawflies. Typically the “research” was conducted on himself and frequently required provoking the little guys to murderous rage (fear?) in order to get them to attack/defend.


    1.0 Sweat bee: Light, ephemeral, almost fruity. A tiny spark has singed a single hair on your arm.

    1.2 Fire ant: Sharp, sudden, mildly alarming. Like walking across a shag carpet & reaching for the light switch.

    1.8 Bullhorn acacia ant: A rare, piercing, elevated sort of pain. Someone has fired a staple into your cheek.

    2.0 Bald-faced hornet: Rich, hearty, slightly crunchy. Similar to getting your hand mashed in a revolving door.

    2.0 Yellowjacket: Hot and smoky, almost irreverent. Imagine W. C. Fields extinguishing a cigar on your tongue.

    2.x Honey bee and European hornet: Like a matchhead that flips off and burns on your skin.

    3.0 Red harvester ant: Bold and unrelenting. Somebody is using a drill to excavate your ingrown toenail.

    3.0 Paper wasp: Caustic & burning. Distinctly bitter aftertaste. Like spilling a beaker of hydrochloric acid on a paper cut.

    4.0 Pepsis wasp: Blinding, fierce, shockingly electric. A running hair drier has been dropped into your bubble bath.

    4.0+ Bullet ant: Pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like fire-walking over flaming charcoal with a 3-inch rusty nail in your heel.

  3. Can the effects of a bee sting be dangerous?

    Yes bee stings can be dangerous if you are allergic to the venom, about one in 200 people suffer from anaphylaxis when stung by a wasp or bee. Every year approx. 10% of the population are stung, thats roughly 6000000 people.

     Usually a small amount of swelling and redness is all that happens that after a few days disappears.

  4. Are you prepared for an emergency situation regarding bee stings?

    Yes we are prepared.  People who are allergic to insect stings are not advised to visit. If a sting and severe anaphalactic shock occured we have an emergency plan to cover this event

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  1. Can we come in a coach, will it be able to get on the site?

    The entrance to the Weleda gardens is not designed for coach visits, although Shipley garden centre is over the road in which you can park. Large van type transport can get on site or if you are coming in cars there is loads of room on site to park.

  2. I have heard that the Weleda site is a working garden is this the case?

    Yes, the Weleda site is a 13 acre organically managed garden that produces plants for the homeopathic produce that they make. In the past it has not been opened to the public to visit (so its a real treat).

  3. Are their toilet facilities?

    Yes we have a super up to date eco loo!
  4. How do we find the site?

    The site is really near the old american adventure theme park and Shipley garden centre. If you travel on the main road between Ilkeston and Heanor (A6007) there is a sign for "the field" take the turn and the bee shed site is 50 yards down on the left hand side through a set of double gates.

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Preparing for the visit

  1. Do we need to bring anything with us when we visit?

    The visitors need to bring there wellingtons. The site sometimes gets a bit waterlogged but they will need them for the apiary inspection mostly (the bees do like a juicy ankle). A pair of jeans, definately not a skirt, must be worn. Preferably wear a jumper also (depends on the weather sometimes it is too hot for a jumper) A full suit and gloves are provided for the apairy inspections

     Also a small amount of money (say £3-5) as there are some momentoes to buy. Honey, stickers, posters that kind of thing. 

  2. How do we pay?

    For visits an invoice will be issued after the visit so dont worry about paying up front. This can be paid by cash, cheque or bank transfer within 1 week of receiving your invoice.


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Business set up

  1. Are the staff CRB checked?

    Yes, all the staff are CRB checked.

  2. Have you done the required risk assesments?

    Yes, we have made out all of the required risk assesments for the business. Copies of which are avaliable on request.

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