Hotel looks to create a buzz with its beekeeping corporate days

August 20, 2015

Corporate team-building days usually mean a tug of war, paintballing or making a raft out of cardboard tubes. But Guyers House, the privately owned, four-star country house hotel near Corsham, is hoping to create a buzz around its latest offering – a day dedicated to learning about bees and beekeeping. 

Eight senior executives from Swindon-based Nationwide Building Society took part in the inaugural session, swapping their office attire for protective suits, hats, veils and gloves.

The event was the brainchild of Richard Rickitt, who runs Corsham-based beekeeping and honey firm A to Bee. He placed hives containing thousands of bees in part of the hotel’s six-acre gardens and invited participants to get up close and personal with them – teaching them how to remove a frame of bees and honey from the hive and how to safely handle the insects.

He said: “Bees are tremendously important to our natural environment and while many people appreciate their value, few understand the parallels between a honeybee colony and the way human-based organisations can be managed. 

“Also, most people never have the opportunity to get this close to a live beehive. It is a concept that has generated a lot of interest, nervousness and excitement but nevertheless it’s one that is proving to work well as an interesting corporate team-building day.”

Nationwide divisional director – group retail strategy – Barnaby Davis said: “As well as it being a unique and interesting experience, getting really close to bees in their hive environment, actually learning about the crossover between bees and corporate life in terms of leadership, communication, work ethic and organisational skills, was incredibly relevant.” 

Guyers House owner Guy Hungerford said he was confident the beekeeping corporate day would generate a lot of interest from businesses looking for something different.

“It is also good to think we are doing a bit of good for pollinating our local environment as well,” he said.

Guyers House, built in around 1670 and which Guy and partner Clare took over in 1994, has 37 bedrooms and a purpose-built conference facilities which can accommodate up to 70 delegates.

Pictured: The Nationwide executive team taking part in Guyers House beekeeping session




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