BEFORE GOING INTO THE APIARY:
- Get the visitor to fill in personal details on the Record of Beekeeping Activity Form.
- Discuss any issues, including bee stings, especially any medical concerns about allergic reactions.
- Outside the Apiary put on beekeeping suits, gloves and footwear (e.g. wellies) for protection from the bees. Check to make sure that all zips and gloves are fastened and bee proof.
- Encourage the visitor to bring and wear reading glasses if required.
- Light the smoker and ensure that it is working. Explain its use.
- Draw attention to any site-specific hazards or circumstances, e.g. rough ground and trip hazards.
- Emphasise staying calm throughout, avoiding sudden movement and treating the bees gently.
- Warn not to stand in front of the entrance of a hive. The reason for this is returning foraging bees cannot enter the hive and will alight onto your suit.
- Stress that you must stay kitted up throughout. Keep your veil or beekeeping hood done-up even if you think that you have a bee inside, but ask the beekeeper to help you.
- Inform the visitor that if they feel uncomfortable it is fine to retreat as long as they tell you that they want to leave the apiary.
ONCE IN THE APIARY:
- Demonstrate opening a hive and handling the frames.
- Point out the main features of the working hive (queen, drones, workers, eggs and all stages of brood, pollen, and nectar, etc.).
- Build up the visitor’s confidence and potential skills. Assess whether the visitor is able to start handling frames under close supervision.
- The visitor must inform you in the event of being stung so that you can keep an eye on them in case they have a bad reaction.
- Make sure that everyone keeps their bee suit on with everything fastened up until you are all out of the Apiary and well away from bees. Then check for any stray bees before taking suits off.