Group of Coleg Gwent learners at the Big Ideas Wales national finals

Coleg Gwent students created a real buzz, reaching 'Big Ideas Wales' national finals for Honeybees project

29 March 2018

From L-R Coran Colwell, Georgia Russell, Kirsty Goodwin, Abbey Rogers and Tyler Parnell presenting Beeswax candles and honey presentation packs to ‘Big Ideas Wales’ Judges

The Welsh Government’s ‘Big Ideas Wales’ is a national competition for entrepreneurial and talented 16-25 year olds.

Five students and lecturers from Coleg Gwent attended the Big Ideas Wales finals on Saturday 24 March 2018, at Bangor University. Here they showcased their bees wax candles and jars of honey they had produced as part of the initiative.

These budding apiarists and Level 3 Public Services students from Blaenau Gwent Learning Zone presented their partnership ‘Honeybees’ project, where they created a real buzz with judges!

Honeybees is a social enterprise scheme, helping to develop learners’ business skills as part of their work based qualification at Coleg Gwent.

Learners embraced the project: from looking after the bees, to collecting honey and using business skills, those learning computing, catering and carpentry all got involved. This afforded the group some relevant precious hands-on experience.

Students benefited from having their own business advisor from Business Wales. They attended Big Ideas Wales business boot camps, where they developed a business plan.

Head of Creative & Active Studies Kathryn Moffat praised the students’ achievement of making the last ten for Further Education Establishments in Wales, she said: “HoneyBees is a wonderful project bringing so many people together in an inspirational way. From idea to end result, the students have learnt much. It’s exactly this sort of practical experience which encourages students to learn in a different way.

“All prospective Coleg Gwent students should be confident that as a college we work with individuals to enhance their employment options. Hopefully these students will become the next generation of future entrepreneurs!”

Used solely for pollinations, the hives are on the roof of the campus at Blaenau Gwent. Students have been selling honey and candles at Farmers Markets, Inns and Bed & Breakfasts locally.

However, with the new honey producing season starting from May through to August, they hope to be able to sell in online this summer onour website – so be sure to check back here later in the year. All profits are reinvested in the enterprise.
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