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Posted on 19th June 2023

The Prison yard is abuzz with rumours

A sting operation like no other! The Arc, Abstinence and Recovery Centre based at HMP Manchester, have a buzzing story as one of their beehives has swarmed. Making a beeline to the skip in the prison car park for a temporary stay, the bees will be moved to one of the two empty hives set up within the prison walls which is awaiting a swarm.

The Arc’s beekeeping project at HMP Manchester, Arc Bees, which started in July 2022 is a sustainable project that brings staff, volunteers, and clients together.

Funding for the garden, £3000 from Greater Manchester Mental Health, Dragon’s Den fund in October 2022, has meant recent planting up of the outdoor space will help to sustain this city centre bee population.

Delphi Medical, which runs the centre is liaising with the prison about a suitable reception date, subject to a satisfactory DBeeS check.

The Arc Bees Project is a holistic treatment activity for clients at The Arc, and last year’s honey production ‘Strangewayzzz Honey’ was in great demand. With more hives this year, it is expected around 200 jars which will be produced, providing funding to go straight back into the project.

Training has been delivered on site by the Stockport Beekeeping Association and has led to other activities for clients, including honey production and candle making from the wax.

Heath Dean, Beekeeper and Support worker at The ARC, HMP Manchester; ‘I was leaving work on a Saturday, after locking up, it all of a sudden became very dark, it was like night time outside, the bees had swarmed. It was the third swarm in 10 days.

After receiving training from the Stockport Beekeeping association, I began to realise how amazing it was to breed. If you are having a bad day, it is great to sit there and relax watching the bees. We have had great interaction with our clients who love to get involved and volunteer with the garden

The Arc bees honey The Arc bees

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