ActivHives Apiary and Bee Garden

A project to help keep bees buzzing and train up a new generation of bee-keepers.


We run beginner bee-keeping courses for people who would like get started and/ or join our Bee Team of community bee-keepers. Please register your interest and we will let you know when the next course is running.

If you are a beginner or improver beekeeper, or would like to see what it takes to keep bees, do come along to our apiary opening sessions.

This will give you excellent hands-on experience of what it is to open and manipulate hives, keep them in a healthy condition, and – hopefully – collect honey. It is a chance for less-experienced beekeepers to ask questions of the more experienced. Once you are confident, you can borrow a suit and have a go yourself. Meet at the People’s Community Garden green cabin at 1.30pm.

Our community apiary has been developed in partnership with Stoke School and our three hives sit on school land, adjacent to the allotment site and the school playing fields. We have built a wildlife pond, for the bees to take a drink, pruned the trees, cleared rubbish and mown paths through the site. Axa Insurance Hearts in Action team helped to make this abandoned area of land into a woodland glade fit for bees and their keepers. Over the fence, on the allotment site itself, we are developing a nectar-rich Bee Garden for the bees and other insects. Primary school children seed-bombed the area with wildflower seed, the Woodland Trust donated 450 “wild harvest” whips to provided an edible hedge around the meadow, while Rowse Honey gave us hundreds of lavender plants to edge our paths.

Green Champion Betsy Reid and other members of the Ipswich & East Suffolk Bee-keeping Association trained our Bee Team and have kindly mentored them through their first season, offering hands-on help and advice.

To get a feel what it takes to handle bees, you can observe the hive being manipulated from the safety of the hide. If you like what you see, you can borrow a suit and shadow our bee-keepers. If you would like to join the team, you can participate in our next course or one run by the local association, and become part of the hive-check rota. This means you will be on the priority list for a share in the honey.


To get involved in ActivHives, please contact Danny on 01473 345350.


With mentor Betsy Reid

Get in touch with us on 01473 345350 to find out when our next session is.

    Join us to gain experience on maintaining hives and to gain more knowledge of what to do and when!  If you have done some beekeeping, but need to refresh your knowledge and gain experience, then this will be a perfect opportunity. If you are a beginner then you will benefit from working alongside other beekeepers with our mentor Betsy, who has 25 years of beekeeping experience. We have two hives and a viewing area which will enable you to get up close to the bees and you will have the opportunity to join our Bee Team.


    Danny Thorrington – or call ActivLives office on 01473 345350



    On specific days – call us on 01473 345350 to find out when.


    The green cabin at the People’s Community Garden, Halifax Road, Ipswich IP2 8RE

    Parking at the CRESS Pavilion


    Call us on 01473 345350 to find out the costs for each session.

    CRESS Pavilion

    The People's Community Garden


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    ActivLives is a local charity, which relies on grants, trusts, donations, fundraising activities, sponsorship & commissions to enable us to provide & develop our services across Ipswich & Suffolk.


    Call us on: 01473 345350


    We’re located at:

    Brightspace, 160 Hadleigh Road,

    Ipswich, Suffolk IP2 0HH



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