June 13, 2024

1       Introduction. 1

2       How we handle visit requests. 1

3       Volunteering. 2

4       Resources. 2

5       Requirements on members. 3

6       Guidance. 3

7       General 3


1        Introduction

The Association encourages members to support requests from outside organisations to give talks about bees and beekeeping. One of the Associations charitable objects is “To strengthen public understanding of bees and other pollinators”; by giving talks and demonstrations to schools and youth or adult groups, members are instrumental in achieving this object. The purpose of this note is to provide guidance to members on how to undertake a successful visit whether this has been requested via the Association or by direct contact with the member.

2        How we handle visit requests

2.1       Requests to the Association

The role of the Association’s “Education Liaison Officer (ELO)” includes the following:

  • to act as the main contact for outside organisations requesting a visit
  • to coordinate with association members for support for requested visits
  • to coordinate access to any association resources that members can use to support visits

When a visit request is received, the ELO will solicit further information from the requesting organisation’s contact (the “organiser”) and notify them of their obligations (see appended visit information form). Once details are received, the coordinator will contact members to seek volunteers and put them in touch with the requesting organiser.

2.2       Requests direct to a member

Members receiving a visit request directly may wish to deal with it themselves. If this is not possible, or additional support is required, please liaise with the ELO.

Members dealing with direct visit requests themselves (self-coordinated visits) are encouraged to use the association visit information form (see addendum) and may use any available association resources (contact the ELO).

2.3       Recording of Visits

The ELO will maintain a record of visits requested and performed so the association can monitor its success in achieving its charitable objects in this regard. For completeness, this should include member self-coordinated visits. Please log such visits and notify the ELO.

3        Volunteering

The ELO will identify a volunteer to act as the lead for the visit.  Subsequent volunteers can act as back-ups or assistants, if appropriate. The ELO will put the lead volunteer in touch with the visit organiser; further details and arrangements for the visit are to be agreed directly between the lead and the organiser.

For those members who have not supported visits and given talks previously, it may be helpful for them to attend a few visits with a more experienced member before taking on a lead support role. In this case, they should inform the ELO when they respond to a visit request.

All volunteers (as result of association or self-coordinated visits) supporting a visit in the name of the association, should take note of and conform to the requirements in section 5 below.

4        Resources

4.1       Association resources

Any resources held by the association may be used to facilitate the preparation and delivery of talks to be given by member volunteers. Ask the ELO for details.

The set of resources will develop over time and members are encouraged to submit new or modified material to the ELO for possible inclusion.

4.2       Presentation equipment

It is possible that the external organiser will make laptop, projector and screen available (some or all). If not, the association has some equipment that members may be able to borrow, if necessary; the ELO will be able to direct volunteer members to the holders of these.

You will need to take any electronic presentation material with you on laptop. memory sticks or equivalent; ensure you take a back-up copy. You should also confirm in advance with the external organiser the compatibility of your laptop/memory stick with on-site equipment (particularly cables required to connect to projectors).

4.3       Use of observation hives

Live bees are always of great interest to adults and children alike. However, it is the association’s strong recommendation to not take an observation hive on visits as, in case of accident, the repercussions on the audience, the member and the Association could be severe. Very experienced members who nevertheless wish to take an observation hive with live bees on visits should ensure:

  • The organiser has been informed, has agreed and is aware of potential risks from bee stings. If they are aware of any attendee susceptible to severe reaction or anaphylaxis, do not take the hive.
  • The hive is fully secure (tamper-proof, no possibility of bee escape, no loose bees underneath)
  • You have the means to quickly secure and remove the hive if necessary.

5        Requirements on members

5.1       Risk Assessment

All members performing visits should ensure that the external visit organiser (i.e. the establishment/person requesting the visit) has performed a suitable risk analysis. You should support the organiser by providing any necessary information.

Some typical risks are:

  • Honey tasting – people with known allergies should not partake
  • Injury from sharp objects (e.g. hive tools)
  • Injury from falling heavy objects (hive parts, props)
  • Live bees escaping and causing injury (important – see 3)


5.2       Safeguarding Policy

All members undertaking visits/talks must comply with the Association’s Safeguarding Policy (see Association website for details).

6        Guidance

6.1       Different groups, different needs

Talks need to be tailored to the target audience by selecting topics and presentation/display material and techniques appropriate to the age and interests of the group (as declared on the visit information form).

6.2       Primary schools, Young youth groups (Rainbows, Beavers, Brownies, Cubs…)

Attention span is short, Involvement essential, get them doing things. Use pictures, games….

20-30 mins.

6.3       Secondary school visits, Older youth groups (Scouts, Guides….)

More experience, more science…

40-60 mins.

6.4       Adult Groups

60 mins

7        General

7.1       Member on-site responsibilities

  1. Members are not expected to have DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) clearance.
  2. At least one of the teachers/leaders of the requesting organisation shall always be present so that volunteer members are never left alone with children/vulnerable adults. This is a requirement highlighted to the organiser on the Visit Request Information Form.
  3. In accordance with association membership rules, members are required to behave reasonably and with respect towards other members of the Association and the general public (see the Association’s Rules on the website).


7.2       Payments/Donations

The attending volunteer member(s) are doing so on a voluntary basis and are not paid by the association for their services. Where felt appropriate, the lead volunteer member may request contribution to expenses from the requesting organisation (on behalf of themselves and other participating member volunteers).

The Association does not solicit donations but if they are offered, they will be gratefully received. Members may accept and pass on cash donations or should ask the external organiser to contact the association treasurer by email at treasurer@bedsbka.org.uk.

7.3       Public Liability

The association’s public liability insurance applies to Full and Honorary members. A copy is shown in the association Year Book.


Addendum – Visit Request Information – Example Form

You can download a copy of this form here.

Form page 1:

We are delighted that you have requested a visit from a beekeeper to give a talk about bees and beekeeping. So that we can properly assess and address your requirements, please fill in, sign and return this form by email (see overleaf). We will then aim to find association members who can support your visit. Please also note the terms and conditions listed overleaf.

Name and address of organisation:



Organiser’s name:
Contact email and telephone number:
Preferred date and time of visit (please give alternatives if appropriate)
Brief description of event format

·        Expected talk duration:

·        How many sessions (repeated talks):

·        Approx number of participants per session:

·        Age range of participants (if children):

·        Other information:

List any particular demonstration, activity or information preferred e.g. life-cycle, curriculum relevance:

(will try to include if possible/appropriate)


The beekeeper may be able to bring some of the following. Please confirm which are/are not acceptable:

·        Honey in jars/comb for tasting (sticky!):

·        Childrens beesuits for dressing up:

·        Beekeeping equipment for demonstration (straw skep, hive parts, bee suit, smoker….):

(It is not always possible to bring all of these)

What presentation equipment is available on site (laptop, projector, screen)?

Is internet access available?

Any other relevant information




Form page 2:

Terms and Conditions:

  1. At least one teacher/leader shall always be present so that the beekeeper is never left alone with any child or vulnerable adult (the beekeeper may not have been DBS checked).
  2. The supervision and management of those attending the event is the responsibility of the organiser.
  3. Assessment and mitigation of risk for this visit is the responsibility of the organiser; the beekeeper may be able to provide input on issues related to their visit.
  4. Honey tasting may not be appropriate for some attendees due to dietary restrictions or food allergies (e.g. some diabetics); the organiser must identify and manage such persons.
  5. The role of Bedfordshire Beekeepers Association is to put association volunteer members in touch with the visit organiser; details and arrangements are to be agreed directly between the Association volunteer(s) and the organiser.
  6. Beekeeping members of Bedfordshire Beekeepers Association are covered by the association’s public liability insurance; a copy of the insurance certificate can be provided on request.
  7. Use/provision of support equipment (laptop, projector, screen, cables, etc) is to be agreed between the organiser and the beekeeper.
  8. The attending beekeeper(s) are doing so on a voluntary basis and are not paid by the association for their services; the beekeeper(s) may request contribution to expenses.
  9. Bedfordshire Beekeepers Association does not charge for these visits but, if you feel it is appropriate, donations are accepted.









Submitted by:                     Name:



Please scan and return this form by email to the sender.