Life is soon to be sweeter at The Norfolk Hospice following the donation of a hive of between 20,000 and 50,000 Honey Bees to the Hillington based charity.

Local beekeeper Graham Battershill met the Hospice’s Palliative Rehabilitative Assistant, Emma Shaw, at a fundraising event and asked if the Hospice had ever considered keeping bees, as he thought that the Hospice’s grounds would make the perfect location with the hive facing out onto the surrounding fields and suggested that the Hospice could profit from the sale of honey. 

After some discussions, the Hospice team decided that it would be a great way to raise funds, whilst helping the environment. Emma, who manages the patient gardening group and Kitchen Garden, contacted Graham to see if he could help.

Graham, who is a member of West Norfolk Beekeepers Association, discovered that fellow keeper, Jane Atkins, was looking to rehome her hive and was willing to donate them to the Hospice.  He also secured a donation of £100 worth of beekeeping equipment from EH Thorne (Beehives), including a spare suit, which will allow interested patients and carers to observe the bees at work if they wish.

Emma said,

We have a patient who has been attending the circuit exercise to help him gain enough self-assurance motivation and exercise tolerance to re-establish his lost hobby of bee keeping, and now having a hive on site with Grahams help we can encourage and support him further to meet his goal.

Graham delivered the hive to the Hospice site over the weekend and returned on Monday to ensure the Queen and her bees are happy in their new location. He will come to the Hospice regularly to care for the hive and harvest the Honey which will be sold to raise funds for the charity. 

The gardening group has been busy sowing seeds such as Calendula, Cosmos and Echinacea to offer the bees and other pollinators a constant source of food and will continue to do this throughout the year. The group also produces a wide range of freshly grown produce including tomatoes, chillies, peppers, potatoes, sweetcorn and strawberries for sale.