Northern Roots Beekeeping Hub

In March 2020 we appointed Oldham-based beekeeper Cath Charnock to help us set up the Northern Roots Beekeeping Hub and deliver a Trainee Beekeeping programme. The Beekeeping programme is one of our first pilot projects, an opportunity for local people and community groups in Oldham to learn about beekeeping and explore it as a business opportunity.

During the free year-long programme, Trainees have learned everything from the basics of beekeeping – how to care for a hive, handle bees and collect honey – to, how to breed queen bees and smaller, starter or ‘nucleus’ bee colonies. Trainees have also explored beekeeping as a business opportunity, learning how to develop and market bee products, such as honey, candles, lip balm, and wax wraps. Under Cath’s careful supervision, and with strict social distancing measures in place, our first cohort of Trainee Beekeepers have now graduated.

‘I’m really proud of getting to the end of the course and having lots of people who can actually look after bees!  They’re a great group and I’ve really enjoyed teaching themCath Charnock, Northern Roots Lead Beekeeper

Trainee Beekeepers have gone on to get hives of their own, are setting up hives at GP surgeries and community allotments, and plan to share their skills with schools and groups across Oldham. Northern Roots bee colonies have doubled, enabling us to sell new colonies on and reinvest funds back into the Beekeeping Hub. We’re taking a small group of current Trainees forward to help them consolidate skills across the next 12 months and we’re  developing a range of Beekeeping courses. When we have more details, we’ll share them with you.

**NEW** Honey Extraction Workshop – 9th October 2021

Join Cath, our award-winning Northern Roots Beekeeper, for the sweetest part of beekeeping.  Learn how honey is made and how it gets from the hive to a jar.  If you’re a new beekeeper or a budding wannabe, this is the perfect workshop for you.

What to expect:

  • Short lecture covering when, what and how to harvest
  • Demonstration of removing frames from hives
  • Uncapping the honey
  • Spinning the frames using an extractor
  • Straining the honey in preparation for bottling
  • Jar your own honey to take away

Costs & info

£30 including refreshments and a jar of Northern Roots honey

Hairnets and aprons will be provided.  This is a sticky business so please wear appropriate clothing!

Available for 18 year old and over only.

All profit that is made from the workshop helps Northern Roots to fund new beehives, new bee colonies and ongoing education.

For more information please email

Northern Roots honey and bee products

You can buy Northern Roots honey and bee products from the Boathouse Café in Oldham’s award-winning Alexandra Park.

Our friends at Bittersweet in Oldham town centre are also stocking Northern Roots honey and bee products.

And if you’re based in Chadderton, Northern Roots bee products are now stocked by the lovely people at Spice Drive, Oldham’s first zero-waste shop!

All profit goes back into sustaining and developing the Northern Roots Beekeeping Hub.

“From the first time I put on a beekeeper’s suit at Northern Roots and looked into a hive, I knew I wanted my own bees. The care of thousands of living creatures is not something to be taken lightly, but I now have the confidence and skills to do it’”

Carol Albinson, Trainee Beekeeper

Being in the apiary with the vibration of 50,000 bees is truly magical! And the honey tastes like wild flowers and sunshine!


Hayley Barker, Trainee Beekeeper, Northern Roots