Beekeepers are keen to spread the message about the importance of the “gorgeous” insects across Barnet.

The Barnet & District Beekeepers Association are abuzz with excitement as they prepare to take care of their honeybees over the summer months.

The group, which currently has 99 members, is looking for more people to learn about the intricacies of beekeeping, which first originated in ancient Egypt.

Publicity officer David Miveld, 57, first took up the hobby almost two years ago. He said: “It takes two lifetimes to learn all there is to know about bees.

“They’re a very important part of our environment so we should protect them and take care of them.

“In China, they killed all the bees so they have to spray pollen onto the plants themselves. We need to do all we can to protect them in England. They are gorgeous insects.”

When beekeepers look inside their hives, the bees are sprayed with a canister filled with smoke to make the insects drowsy and distract them.

The beekeepers wear protective suits when they open the cover of the apiary, to reveal swirls of black and gold creatures.

Over the winter, the hives are not opened as the cold could potentially be deadly to the bees - but they are checked every week or so for signs of diseases.

Those who want to learn more about beekeeping are invited to take part in a course.

Steve Leveridge, a marketing manager, said: “We want to reach out to other beekeepers in the borough to get in touch, so we can learn from each other.

“Bees can contract diseases which can sometimes be fatal to them, and it’s much better and easier if we treat them all together.”

The club is holding an open day for anyone wanting to come down and see the hives on Saturday, August 2. For more information visit