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Families get a buzz from beekeeping

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More people are
turning to beekeeping as a hobby

By Katie Lamborn

Kent families are swarming to become part of a beekeeping

In Medway alone, those signing up for lessons have doubled in
the past year - with thousands more showing an interest

In Kent, more families then ever are making a beeline for
training sessions.

Diane Wakeling from Maidstone took lessons with her brother and
niece - and found it was a hive of activity.

She said: "It's a great hobby to do with the family.

"You literally have to lean on each other sometimes because of
the weight of the hive.

"Also a lot of the expertise I've learnt my brother's forgotten
and vice versa so we always call each other up to exchange facts
and helpful tips."

Numbers at Medway Beekeepers Association's
lessons have doubled in the past year, with membership expected to
soon stand at 170.

The trend is the same all over the country.

Terry Clare, the chairman of Medway Beekeepers Association,
said: "Nearly 18,000 belong to the British Beekeepers

"That's up by 7,000 in recent years."

He said: "A worry over the declining bee population is probably
part of why interest in beekeeping has grown so enormously, but
also I think people are realising it's just something really
interesting to do.

"A combination of a long hard winter and a very poor spring,
along with hard-to-control parasites means the number of bees has

"And bees provide the basis for the sort of life that we are
living," said Terry.

"If we take a plate of food, anything with colour on it would
have come from a plant pollinated by honey bees - even things like

"Without them we would be living on wind-pollinated foods like
bread, porridge and noodles.

To find your nearest beekeeping branch www.kentbee.com.

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