BuzzWorks (previously the Hitchin Bee Centre) by Robin Dartington

The summer has flown by – and missed the UK almost completely. But it has been a bumper year for honey in Hitchin and the surplus will be useful to raise money for good works. My planned 16 colonies seem to have grown to 29 so there will be surplus bees for the Bee Centre.

The outer shell of the Bee Shed is finished, the interior now needs painting and fitting out. The working group has grown with the enthusiastic contribution of Elaine from Letchworth who wants to take up beekeeping. Her son, Edmund, also wants to become a beekeeping apprentice – a young back is always welcome when it comes to the heavy work!

Elaine putting on the paint

The grant manager has visited and the Museum/Exhibition and Bee Garden appear to fall within the guidelines but not the Plant Nursery, which will now be added to the privately funded Bee Centre. An Operational Plan is needed to show how the obligation for the Museum to be open to the public for 104 days a year will be met. The Council will also need to extend the annual lease, so applying for the grant will be delayed to the end of the year. More time on developing a design is never wasted, but it will be a rush in the spring to get ready for opening at Easter.

A higher quality Museum and Exhibition will take costs of Phase 2 to £20,000 – but the grant lady did not blink. The job is to steer the design closer to the guidelines, not go for cheapness. Luton’s Bee Gallery is an invaluable precedent, to which Beds BKA contributed £2,200.

We have a new name,

Hitchin’s Community Bee Garden
“where people enter and enjoy the busy world of bees”

It will stand until someone comes up with better! Any ideas, anyone?

Proposed Museum building, 5.4m square

Bee gallery, Luton - by Beds BKA

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