The Bee Garden Party is an event hosted by Radio 4’s Martha Kearney and Classic FM’s Bill Turnbull, and arranged in conjunction with Bees for Development – a small charity that is working hard to help some of the world’s poorest people to make feasible incomes from beekeeping, and helping to maintain good habitats for bees.
This year’s Bee Garden Party was on 29 June and hundreds of supporters of Bees for Development gathered to celebrate bees and the work of the Charity in the gardens of Marlborough House, a former Royal Palace and HQ for The Commonwealth. It was opened by Baroness Scotland, Secretary General of the Commonwell. Political Guests included Government Ministers Michael
Gove and Lord Alli, while bee researcher Professor Dave Goulson promised that topical new findings on neonicotinoid pesticides would feature in the following day’s news.
Guests were entertained by Artizani’s stylish and fun bee theatre, displays included bee hives from all around the world, and Chris Park’s skep making. There were opportunities to taste honey with The London Honey Company and mead with New Quay Honey Farm. Chef Elizabeth Parker served vegetarian food featuring only bee-pollinated delicacies, with sparkling wines, organic gin fizz, mimosa cocktails and honey beer. Bill Turnbull auctioned a range of exclusive bee-related luxuries, fabulous holidays, hampers and jewellery, including a jar of his own honey which raised £350 for the cause!
The silent auction was a huge hit too, with guests bidding for treats from champagne teas to bee-themed jewellery and artwork.
Bees for Development provide free bee-keeping information to beekeepers in the poorest parts of the world. They focus on simple methods of sustainable beekeeping, always using local bees and local materials.They have helped thousands of remote and poor families earn essential income to meet their basic needs. They encourage farmers to make simple, low-cost beehives so that more people can harvest and sell honey, turning natural resources into sustainable livelihoods with great benefit for the wider environment.
We provided recycled seed packets containing British wildflower seeds to attract bees, which were put into goodie bags for the guests.
Written by Teresa Sinclair