Beekeeping hobby is providing award winner Carol with a real buzz!
07 February 2018
An unusual Christmas present from her husband has turned into a fantastic hobby for Carol Talbot – and provides her friends and family with an award-winning treat.
Instead of finding an expensive bottle of perfume or exquisite jewellery ready to be unwrapped, she discovered a new beehive under the tree!
Five years on, Carol is winning awards for the quality of her bees' honey, jars of which are always a big hit with her colleagues at Bovis Homes' Southern Counties office in Basingstoke.
“I'd been talking about keeping bees for quite a while and I just think my husband Andy decided it was time for me to get on with it!” explained Carol, an assistant buyer with the national home builder.
“For Christmas, he bought me the beehive and paid for me to go on a beginners' course in beekeeping.
“I have really enjoyed the past five years – you do get used to the occasional bee stings – and I have learned ever so much about the wonderful world of bees and how they work together for the good of the hive.
“This little insect is absolutely amazing and without them, because of the work they do in pollenating plants and vegetables, the world would lose about 70 per cent of the food we eat.
Carol Talbot at her desk at Bovis Homes “Last year, Andy and I had our best summer so far from the three hives in our garden, collecting enough honey for about 80 jars.”
Passionate about the thousands of bees in her hives, Carol was delighted when the honey they produced was named 'best in show' by her local club, the Fleet District Beekeepers' Association in Hampshire.
Carol acts as a mentor to new members of the association, while the beekeeping 'bug' has already been caught by her 10-year-old grandson Harry.
“Harry has his own beekeeping suit and really enjoys taking honeycomb into school to show his friends,” said Carol, who lives in Church Crookham.
“It's a brilliant way to introduce children to nature, but I'd encourage anyone of any age to get involved in beekeeping – it's a fabulous hobby.
“I can spend hours just watching them go about their work and beekeeping has certainly made me a much calmer person.
“It's totally engrossing and I do find myself talking to them. They can become a little bit bad-tempered sometimes, but I do tell them so if I think they're misbehaving!”