Beekeeper pair buzzing over taste of success

Alf Hayes and Kieth Urwin with one of their bee hives.
Alf Hayes and Kieth Urwin with one of their bee hives.

A Fleetwood duo are doing their bit to take the sting out of the problems facing the humble honey bee.

The bees have been under threat in Britain and elsewhere for several years from a deadly combination of loss of habitat, pesticides, diseases and predators.

But Father Alf Hayes, parish prist at St Wulstan’s Catholic Church and Keith Urwin, who has worked as a Wyre Countryside ranger, want to make Wyre a more bee-friendly place.

They set up their first three hives in Fleetwood back in 2014.

Those hives have proved so successful that at the end of last year the duo were able to bring in a record haul of honey.

In addition, they have also expanded to seven hives, spread across the St Wulstan’s parish.

Fr Hayes said: “We had 40 jars of honey at the end of last year and we had them on sale at the church at Christmas.

“We’re doing well at looking after them, making sure they are free of things like mites.”

Keith says honey bees are important, because not only do they produce honey but they also pollinate most of the world’s main food crops.

The British Bee Keepers Association are currently on the alert for a frightening new threat to British bees.

The Asian Hornet, a large wasp which invades bee nests, kills and eats the bees andcan now be found in France.

A nest was spotted in Gloucestershire last year but so far this year the UK has been clear of the pest.