Bees for Development reviews

15 May 22'

Mike reviewed: Straw skep hive making course - with Bees for Development

"Very enjoyable course. Great tutor and location with a superb lunch."

6 Mar 22'

Katie reviewed: Straw skep hive making course - with Bees for Development

"Chris is a fountain of knowledge and an excellent teacher. The group was wonderful, we sang and skepped all day long. The lunch was amazing too. Would strongly recommend this course to anyone wanting to try their hand and learn more about this ancient and beautiful craft."

17 May 21'

David Matthews reviewed: Straw skep hive making course - with Bees for Development

"Loved it. Chris is a really skilled, knowledgeable and engaging teacher, and I feel as if I now have a skill for life. One of the most enjoyable courses I've ever done."

5 Oct 20'

Jane reviewed: Willow skep hive (Alveari) making - with Bees for Development

"What a wonderful day; even more special during these challenging times to learn something new and meet people. Chris was incredibly knowledgable, explaining the history and folklore around skeps, and generous with his hands on help to help my first ever attempt at willow weaving be nudged into a bee home! We were given a bucket of clum and today I have plastered it and intend to make another one as soon as possible so I don’t forget the techniques learned on the day. It was also great to have Giacomo from Bees for Development on tbe workshop and he shared with us the fantastic work that they do. The lovely friendly ladies from Yew Tree pub provided the most delicious cake and huge lunch and the venue was perfect. I also was delighted to buy some cider to take home along with the skep. My only suggestion, would be a brief handout to help us remember the techniques and also where we can get willow and how to make clum."

28 Sep 20'

Clare Downie reviewed: Bees for Development Sustainable Beekeeping Course

"I loved this course. It was a great combination of biology, conservation, beekeeping skills, and meeting like minded people in a group. It broadened my perspective on beekeeping, and it was very interesting to learn about the work and ethos of Bees for Development. Beekeeping for bees, with minimum intervention, kindness, and real attention to their natural behaviour. Thank you. I was very inspired. I have a beehive, and all I need now are some bees!"

14 Sep 20'

Bridget reviewed: Straw skep hive making course - with Bees for Development

"I loved this course! Chris was a very skilled teacher - so gently showing and telling us how to make our skeps. And telling stories about bees, laced with life wisdom. Everyone was fully engaged, in a very good atmosphere, and made great progress."

8 Sep 20'

Alice reviewed: Straw skep hive making course - with Bees for Development

"I had a wonderful day, a great group and excellent instruction by Chris - a fountain of knowledge and a pleasure to be around. I felt i gained enough practice and knowledge to complete the skep at home. The food was excellent and an all round great way to spend a day."

23 Aug 20'

Damian Pinel reviewed: Straw skep hive making course - with Bees for Development

"An excellent course. Tutor very knowledgable, engaging and enthusiastic. The venue, Yew Tree Inn, was first class and this contributed to a really enjoyable day. The booking process is simple and the Bees for Development staff most helpful. Highly recommended."

23 Aug 20'

Adrian Vanderplank reviewed: Straw skep hive making course - with Bees for Development

"A really good day learning the history and how to make skeps, it's made me appreciate the time and skill that goes into making them. Great venue and the lunch was excellent. Thanks again to Giacomo and Chris."

25 Feb 20'

Rachel Atiyah reviewed: Straw skep hive making course - with Bees for Development

"Only reason I didn't put excellent is because I wish we could have had longer! Great bee group, knowledgeable teacher with interesting stories to tell. As for the food.... delicious with the bonus of tasting the Perry (in the pub) made on the farm! Have yet to finish my skep, and feeling quite proud of how well it is forming/looking so far. Thanks Bees for Development ."

20 Nov 19'

Giacomo reviewed: Straw skep hive making course - with Bees for Development

"Wonderful and inspirational day with Chris and three fellow students, all of whom lovely and full of interesting things to tell. It was my first time working with straw, which I really enjoyed. Amazing to witness a bundle of chaotic stalks transform into a tight, strong spiral. Chris is a well of wisdom and a master storyteller: lots to learn about bees, honey, health, skeps, ancient myths and more. Huge, diverse and delicious spread of dishes for lunch. Highly recommended to anyone who has an interest in beekeeping or just likes to work with their hands and an open mind."

20 Nov 19'

Kate Stallard reviewed: Straw skep hive making course - with Bees for Development

"I had the most fabulous and rewarding day. Great tuition with interesting conversation throughout. So pleased with my skep so far and feel confident that I can finish at home with the tools provided. Lunch was excellent. Highly recommend and looking forward to further courses."

18 Oct 19'

Karen Flynn reviewed: Treatment free beekeeping in horizontal hives - Leo Sharashkin

"I attended Dr Leo Sharashkin's 2day natural beekeeping course in Monmouth and am so happy I did. It was amazing, he really knows how to convey the importance of a natural approach to beekeeping. He is a very good speaker, interactive with the class and has a lot of scientific evidence to back up his own observations. I am certainly keen to try using a horizontal hive next year and this course gave me the confidence to go ahead and change my approach to beekeeping."

10 Oct 19'

Gill Horrocks reviewed: Willow skep hive (Alveari) making - with Bees for Development

"Exciting, practical course — and you get to take home your own willow skep! Chris Parks is an excellent and expert teacher with vast patience. I had never done any willow weaving before so the entire process was new to me. Discovering the history of willow weaving was fascinating in its own right. I hope a swarm will choose my skep as its home next Spring."

10 Oct 19'

Vicki GARRATT reviewed: Treatment free beekeeping in horizontal hives - Leo Sharashkin

"An inspirational course! Dr Leo Sarashkin delivers a most uplifting and engaging lecture combining the complex science with the gritty practicalities... reconciling the ideal world of beekeeping with the realistic limitations of the humble beekeeper battling to do their best! I have come away from the course preparing to start a horizontal hive apiary following his ethos. A wonderful course... much recommended!"

10 Oct 19'

Maria reviewed: Treatment free beekeeping in horizontal hives - Leo Sharashkin

"Most enjoyable weekend. Covered a lot, the time flew by!"

10 Oct 19'

Gill Horrocks reviewed: Treatment free beekeeping in horizontal hives - Leo Sharashkin

"I attended Leo Sharashkin's course for the second time in 2019. He brought new insights and evidence to his approach and is generously interactive with attendees. He is one of the best tutors I have ever come across in any subject and the bees are fortunate to have his knowledgeable advocacy!"

12 Aug 19'

Owen reviewed: Introduction to Skep Beekeeping - with Bees for Development

"The course was excellent. The information fascinating. Delivered in a relaxed organised manner with a good balance of practical and theory. Loved it."

2 Jul 19'

Heather Knowles reviewed: Straw skep hive making course - with Bees for Development

"What a fabulous day making a bee skep with Chris Park. He's enthusiasm for the subject was infectious and made the day so enjoyable. Whilst we worked away on our skeps he was feeding us with knowledge on skep bee keeping and its history. It gave me the confidence to easily finish off the skep at home. The venue was perfect with a break for lunch in the Yew Tree Inn with excellent food."

1 Jul 19'

Joan Leitch reviewed: Straw skep hive making course - with Bees for Development

"It was so much better having Chris as a guide, than trying to learn this skill from a book. It was also nice to have others around to chat to. An addictive pastime I think - we didn't want to stop for lunch! They also let us take the tools home so we could complete our skeps."

1 Jul 19'

Sarah Shuffell reviewed: Willow skep hive (Alveari) making - with Bees for Development

"The course was well organised and run and the food and venue very good. A nice informal atmosphere and friendly tutor. I am a basket maker and so joined the course in order to learn how to make and apply clum, not for the weaving skills. I came all prepared, as requested in the briefing notes, but sadly we did not cover this on the day and I was disappointed. This is not to detract from the overall experience and the group made and finished some lovely baskets but for me it did not fulfil my needs or meet the course description. Some supporting handouts on bee keeping in skeps would have been helpful."

Bees for Development responded:

" Dear Sarah, thank you for joining our course and for your review. On last week's course our tutor Chris had been unable to access the right materials to plaister the hives and therefore could not demonstrate this technique, although Chris did bring a finished hive to show you, and he did describe how to do this, and discuss various different 'recipes'. We invite you to come along to the next Willow Skep Course on Sunday 6 October in Monmouth when Chris will be able to show you how to do this. You could also view our video which shows the technique in Uganda which can be found in the Resource Centre section of our website. Kind regards, Nicola Bradbear"

1 Jul 19'

Lesley Rhodes reviewed: Willow skep hive (Alveari) making - with Bees for Development

"I really enjoyed the day. Chris was very informative and helpful. He had a lot of patience and explained the skep making very well. A suggestion would be a hand out, to refer to, on making the cloon to cover the skep in the future. The food was excellent, as was the venue. A relaxed and happy atmosphere."

27 Jun 19'

Angela Benn reviewed: Straw skep hive making course - with Bees for Development

"A wonderful course. Chris is an inspiring and patient teacher. He not only passed on his skills as a skep-maker but also gave us an insight into the history of skeps and bee-keeping. Leaving with the basic skills, equipment and materials to finish my skep was brilliant. It was a great day spent with a group of very friendly, interesting people. The lunch and cake were delicious! The day was very well organised and the surrounding countryside beautiful."

25 Jun 19'

Mandy Benton reviewed: Straw skep hive making course - with Bees for Development

"Inspirational teacher! Great insight into historical bee keeping. The day went too quickly. Great to take home the knowledge and equipment to finish the skep. Lovely group of people and superb lunch! Many thanks to all involved."

21 Jun 19'

John Putley reviewed: Straw skep hive making course - with Bees for Development

"Fantastic hands-on course with extremely knowledgeable expert tutor, who not only demonstrated it to us en masse, but also came around individually as the day went on to see how we were getting along and helping correct any mistakes. No issue was too small and he was extremely patient. I came away with a skill that I didn’t have when I arrived and an eagerness to do more."

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