The purpose of the apprenticeship is to tackle the lack of bee farmers and bee hives in the UK in order to meet a greater proportion of the domestic demand for good quality local honey and to address the pollination deficit which threatens sustainable food production in the UK.
Gabriel will apprentice with Rebecca Chadd from Becky’s Beezzz over a period of three years. Rebecca strongly believes in the passing on of skills to future generations. Rebecca is now in a position to employ an apprentice to address these issues and to grow her own business. She operates around 80 colonies and produces over 200 nucleus each year.
The apprentice will learn the art of bee farming from Rebecca and will help to expand honey producing colonies. Rebecca explains that years ago the average age of British bee farmers was 66. Something had to be done to ensure these ageing bee farmers passed on their skills to the next generation. The Bee Farmers Association worked with commercial honey packers Rowse Honey, London City Livery Companies and DEFRA to set up a world-class apprenticeship scheme to address this problem. QEST will assist Rebecca in order to ensure Gabriel receives a salary.
Gabriel hopes that the apprenticeship will equip him with skills to eventually set up his own business. He further hopes to increase the amount of hives in the UK that will pollinate and produce honey for the UK market.
Gabriel hopes to learn the craft well so that he can contribute to the future and ethos of bee farming. The environmental impact of bee farming is such that everyone benefits from the craft continuing and expanding.