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People of Wellington Place: Bill Cadmore

Wellington Place is more than just bricks and mortar, it’s a thriving community powered by people. This series of interviews aims to highlight some of the people of Wellington Place, share their inspirational stories and find out why Wellington Place is much more than just a place to work…

Interview with Bill Cadmore, Beekeeper at the Wellington Place Apiary

When Wellington Place was in its early developmental stages, Bill was invited to set up an apiary on-site. Ever since, Bill has been involved with looking after the hives, as well as running lunchtime beekeeping experiences for Wellington Place employees.

Tell us a little bit about what you do…

“I look after the apiary at Wellington Place, which has six colonies of honeybees. At this time of year, each colony consists of around 20,000 female workers and one queen – but in summer this will go up to 60,000 female workers, 1 queen and around 500 males.

“In winter, I make sure that the bees have plenty of food and are nice and dry. In summer, I inspect the colonies weekly and make sure they have plenty of space to expand into. If they want to reproduce, I help them by splitting the colonies – this also keeps them from flying around the Wellington Place buildings and occupiers.

“In summer, I also run lunchtime sessions for people who work at Wellington Place. They can put on a protective beekeeping suit and come and look through the hives with me! Last summer we did a live broadcast, which was watched by many.”

What’s your greatest achievement to date?

“My greatest achievement is that I’ve managed to make a living from beekeeping. I quit my full-time job as a Senior Manager at a secondary school on the basis that I could make a living from doing private tuition. Beekeeping was just a hobby at this point!

“As chance would have it, the University of Leeds had just set up a research project looking into bee diseases. I emailed them asking if they would like to employ me to help with the projects and they accepted. At the same time, DEFRA and BBKA (national beekeeping organisations) gave me the job of running conferences around the UK – teaching beekeepers how to bee-keep more effectively.

“I then expanded my own operation and set up my own beekeeping business! Since then, I’ve worked for city councils, government organisations, private companies and charities. I’m so proud of the work I’ve done, and I still absolutely love it!”

beekeeping

Tell us something interesting about yourself that others at Wellington Place may not know?

“Something that many people don’t know about me is that I walk four miles before breakfast almost every day.

“I also usually get stung every time I’m hosting a lunchtime session, but I resist the desire to swear and pretend everything is calm and great – I can’t worry the people I’m showing through the hive!”

Beekeeping

What is your favourite thing about working at Wellington Place and why?

“The best thing about Wellington Place is definitely the people, everybody I’ve met and worked with has been cheerful, friendly and very polite.

“It’s lovely to show others something a little bit different and get such positive feedback!”

What three words sum up Wellington Place to you?

Perfect for honeybees!