Beekeeper Flies In To Talk To School’s Busy Bees

12th January 2024

There was a real buzz around the school this week as an expert beekeeper flew in to say hello.

Michelle Ernoult, of The Little Honeybee Company, gave an engaging talk and demonstrated some of the tools of her trade to fascinated pre-prep children.

The inquisitive youngsters bombarded Michelle with brilliant questions about her busy pollinators, gained an understanding of the hierarchy within a bee colony, and got to look at all the pieces which make up a working beehive.

There was also the chance for the children to get a close look at the equipment needed to tend to honey-producing bees, such as the smoker which beekeepers use to make the bees a little drowsy while collecting honeycomb and the obligatory suit and netted headgear which keeps beekeepers safe while the bees are buzzing around.

Michelle’s visit to the busy bees in pre-prep ties in with the spring term Year 1 topic which asks the question ‘why are bees important?’

Suzannah Cryer, Head of Highfield and Brookham, said the children loved Michelle’s visit.

“Bees are a particular favourite with a lot of children as they see them as colourful and friendly and associate them with producing tasty honey,” she said, “and our children are no different.

“It was wonderful for the children to get such an insightful look at the work of a dedicated beekeeper and gain more of an understanding of the important role bees play in the natural world.

“We were delighted that Michelle could join us and give the children some food for thought as they embark upon their new topic.”

As part of an ongoing environmental drive, Highfield and Brookham has embarked on a wildflower planting programme in recent years in order to safeguard the future of our essential pollinators. Recently, the independent nursery, pre-prep and prep school on the borders of Hampshire, Surrey and West Sussex received a £4,250 grant from the South Downs National Park Trust as part of its Bee Lines scheme. The cash will be used to expand the wildflower-planting scheme.