Discover the Buzz: Lune Valley Beekeepers’ Eco-Friendly Haven and Open Day Celebration

Tucked away in the unassuming grounds of Nazareth House, along Ashton Road, you will find the home of Lune Valley Beekeepers, another of our city’s hidden gems. Formed in 2016 by a small group of beekeepers who felt that the conventional approach to beekeeping was too focused on the requirements of the beekeeper and the need to produce honey, they pursue an alternative approach, keeping their bees in as natural a manner as practical, and in harmony with the environment.

“We don’t treat the bees with chemicals,” explains Dr Fred Ayres, chairman of the club. “Instead we allow the bees to develop natural ways of dealing with pests. The bees also have well insulated hives, just like wild colonies living in hollows in trees, rather than in thin-walled commercial hives, and the beekeepers only inspect the hives three or four times a year rather than weekly thus allowing the bees to swarm naturally.”

After a lot of hard work by dedicated club members, the club found a site for an apiary within the grounds of Nazareth House, which is around 2 acres in size and had been unattended for a number of years. Now there is a training apiary, where new beekeepers can receive practical training; a 900sq m wildflower meadow; a woodland; a sizeable car park; and a breeding apiary. Since Brexit in 2020 it has been illegal to import bees into the UK, so the breeding apiary provides a source of healthy bees, well suited to our local environment.

The club’s members regularly speak to other beekeeping organisations to explain their alternative approach. They also encourage other organisations, such Parish Councils, Scouts etc, to convert areas of waste into pollinator patches, small areas of native wildflowers to provide a habitat for a range of natural pollinators.

The Lune Valley Beekeepers are having free to enter open day on Saturday 13th July, to be opened by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor. It will be a fun and interesting day out for the whole family. There will be free parking, a barbeque, craft stalls and more. You’ll be able to see inside a living beehive in a completely safe environment with the specialised observation hive. There will also be a short walk and a chance to learn about bee folklore and medieval bee poetry! You can find out more about the group on their website –