Archive for March, 2016

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What’s the buzz…? Beekeeping in Little Stoke

Posted on Wednesday 30th March 2016 at 10:47 pm by Ellen Cale

Tim Hewer, beekeeper in Little Stoke, Bristol.

In spring 2013, Tim Hewer was approached by a friend who needed a spot of land on which to keep his beehive. Tim accepted and assisted in setting up a new apiary, “I was standing there, wearing a pair of Marigolds and holding 10,000 bees. Listening to the low buzz, I slowly began to relax. It was that sound that grabbed me.”

Feeling inspired, Tim reached out to his friends and together they formed the Little Stoke Beekeeping Society. The society started with ten members who donated £30 each and by July 2013 a hive had been built and the first nucleus of bees moved in with help from South Gloucestershire Beekeepers Association, a local branch of The British Beekeepers Association.

The society has since grown, with twelve members tending to six hives named after local areas – Harry Stoke, Great Stoke, Little Stoke, Stoke Gifford, Stoke Lodge and Bradley Stoke.

Each hive houses a colony of honeybees who work hard and can produce upwards of 50 pounds (23 kilos) of honey from March to August. Bees will fly one and a half times around the world to produce one pound of honey. The queen is initially raised on a diet of royal jelly and lives for an average of three to four years, laying up to 2,000 eggs a day during the summer season, whilst the other members of the colony live for about six weeks in the summer and six months over winter, literally working themselves to death for the benefit of the colony. During the summer, there could be as many as 60,000 bees in one colony.

Tim devotes much of his time tending to the bees in all types of weather. When asked why beekeeping is such an important job he explains: “They pollinate a huge proportion of our food source. They are key to our survival.”

You may have heard in the news that the honeybee is in danger. There has been a dramatic decline in hives in the UK due to environmental changes such as the use of pesticides on crops and wet summers. Healthy honeybees are essential to the pollination of agricultural crops and the feed that we supply to poultry.

This is why Tim wants to see more local communities in South Gloucestershire actively engaging in effective beekeeping: ‘The beauty of beekeeping in suburbia is there are plenty of food sources for the honeybees to forage – We have hedgerows, gardens and woodland all within the three mile radius of Little Stoke. Our household gardens are so varied in foliage that urban colonies tend to do better than rural colonies.”

More: Society’s honey takes first prize in novice section at show »

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New library area for Little Stoke Primary

Posted on Wednesday 30th March 2016 at 9:46 pm by SH (Editor)

Performance poet Ian Bland recites a poem at the official opening of the new library area at Little Stoke Primary School.

Little Stoke Primary School officially opened its new library area on Friday 19th February and celebrated the occasion with a day of literacy-related activities.

Performance poet Ian Bland spent the day at the school, leading writing workshops, showing pupils how to write poems and giving tips on performing.

During a short ceremony to mark the opening of the library, Year 6 boys shared their thoughts about the new facility through prepared speeches. Ian Bland also explained how he had loved to visit libraries as a child, both the one in his school and the one in his village. He then recited a specially written poem called ‘Our Library’.

Then, after a fanfare by the Little Stoke Sliders (the school’s trombone group), Ian cut the ribbon to declare the library area officially open.

The library area is a visible presence of a broader reading initiative that is under way at the school which has included a reading challenge (in which children produced models based on books they have read), a top 100 books initiative, a reading passport scheme (which gives pupils rewards on reaching milestones), and paired reading.

More photos from the library area opening event »

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Council’s compulsory vehicle pre-registration system for Sort It centres goes live

Posted on Thursday 24th March 2016 at 8:38 pm by SH (Editor)

Stoke Gifford Sort It! Centre, Station Road, Little Stoke.

South Gloucestershire residents who want to use local authority Sort It waste disposal and recycling centres, such as the one in Station Road, Little Stoke, must now register their vehicle to access the sites.

A spokesperson for South Gloucestershire Council said:

“You don’t need to sign up straight away, just make sure you register at least 24 hours before your next visit. You can sign up at any time of year and you only need to do it once, unless you change your address or vehicle.”

Chair of South Gloucestershire Council’s Communities Committee Cllr Heather Goddard said:

“We have introduced vehicle registration at our Sort It recycling centres to help reduce the number of people from neighbouring council districts and commercial users from visiting our sites. Residents can sign up at any time and it’s very easy to register online, over the phone or at any of South Gloucestershire’s One Stop Shops.”

There are two types of vehicle registration available:

Standard vehicle registration for vehicles of any size (up to 3.5 tonnes) that have rear and/or side facing windows including cars of any size, campervans, people carriers etc.

Restricted vehicle registration for:

  • Vans of any size without rear facing windows including minibuses, campervans and cars
  • 4×4s, pick-up trucks or people carriers (MPV) without rear seats and/or windows or with an open back
  • Flatbed vehicles, box vans, horse boxes with integrated cab and agricultural vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes

A maximum of two vehicles per address can be registered.

More: Vehicle registrations will be checked using ANPR technology »

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Alzheimer’s Society launches local activity group for people with dementia

Posted on Friday 18th March 2016 at 10:34 pm by SH (Editor)

Alzheimer’s Society activity group for people with dementia, which meets in Little Stoke.

A new ‘friendship & activity group’ for people with dementia is being launched by Alzheimer’s Society in Little Stoke.

The club will take place on Monday mornings from 10am to 12noon. Exact dates, and details about the location, are available from the charity’s South Gloucestershire office on 0117 961 0693.

The friendship & activity group will provide a social atmosphere that aims to help people with dementia keep physically and mentally active as well as helping people express themselves. People who attend will be able to take part in a range of activities including visits to local places such as the industrial museum, indoor games, and activities such as chair exercise or massage, delivered by other local organisations.

Heather Ashley, Group Co-Ordinator for Alzheimer’s Society in South Gloucestershire said:

“We’re really excited to be launching this new group in Little Stoke. Activity groups can make a huge difference to people’s sense of wellbeing, helping people keep fit, have fun and socialise.”

“There are thought to be over 3,400 living with dementia in South Gloucestershire. With the right support, people can live well with the condition for a number of years.”

As well as activity groups, Alzheimer’s Society in South Gloucestershire has a number of services including Singing for the Brain groups, Memory Cafes, Carer Support Groups and Dementia Support Service. To find out more about the new, or existing groups, please contact Vickie Heyward or Heather Ashley on 0117 961 0693.

• The service is open to all residents of the wider Stokes area who have had a diagnosis of dementia.

This article originally appeared in the March 2016 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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