Busy bee Janet, 87, looks forward to honey from the care home’s own hives
Residents at Elmbrook Court care home will be spreading their toast with their own honey after taking delivery of two bee hives.
Team members and residents will be caring for the bees in the meadow beyond its garden, where wildflowers will provide the bees with pollen in the summer months.
Janet Menzies, 87, is looking forward to the fruits of the bees’ labour. “It’s so exciting to have these in the meadow!” she said. “It will be wonderful to have our own honey and as well as eating it, we can make soap from it. I didn’t know that would be possible – even at my age I’m learning something new!”
The hives are just one part of the home’s ‘Three Bs’ project – Bees, Bugs and Butterflies – which aims to encourage wildlife into the meadow. As part of the project, children from Charlton Primary School will make regular visits for science lessons. The meadow will also be home to bug hotels that the children are creating.
Elmbrook Court is a purpose-built home offering all-inclusive residential, nursing, memory and respite care for up to 74 residents. Opened in September 2021, Elmbrook Court has been rated ‘Good’ in its first inspection by the Care Quality Commission.
Jim MacLeod is the home’s Head of Client and Resident Experience. He said: “September is Green Month at Elmbrook Court and welcoming the bees is a wonderful way to kick it off. As well as creating a lot of interest and excitement for our residents, we also want to encourage biodiversity on our land.
“We are very conscious of being as environmentally responsible as possible. We have a number of green initiatives, such as recycling and reusing materials for craft activities, and our parent company, Oakland Care, is the UK’s only Carbon Neutral care group.”
The bees will be managed at the home by apiarist, David Busby, from Abingdon. Residents will then get involved in harvesting and tasting the honey.
“I’ve never been a fan of honey,” said Doris Ingrouille, 92, “but David let me try some straight from the hive – it tasted so different. Now I can’t wait to have some on my toast!”
Find out more about Elmbrook Court Care Home