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She’s probably the youngest beekeeper in the whole of Suffolk and is certainly the “littlest” person looking after bees.
In her bright pink outfit 10-year-old Liala Henry tends after her hives at Heath Farm, in Hessett, alongside her mum Katie Mithcam-Henry and father Simon Henry.
It’s a labour of love for the young Rougham Primary School pupil who has become a member of the British Beekeeping Association.
The family has a total of seven hives at the farm which is run in partnership by Katie and Mike Phillips, with Liaila tending two of them and all producing honey which is sold at the farm shop, alongside their traditional farm-reared rare breeds meat, eggs, fruit and vegetables.
But it’s Liala who has grabbed the headlines with her love of beekeeping which has got the customers talking.
She was first attracted to the pastime when she went along with her father to a meeting of the West Suffolk Beekeeping Association, held at at the Apiary, situated in Nowton Park plant nursery, in Bury St Edmunds. That was five years ago and she has even given a 30-minute talk about her skills and the amazing work of the bees in front of students at her school.
Liala also attends local bee shows around Suffolk and the honey produced at the farm is sold all over the country with some going to well known celebrities.
The farm is no stranger to being in the news for it has been featured on the BBC TV series “Countryfile” and back in 2018 was a regional winner in the annual Countryside Alliance Award picking up the Local Food category award in the East of England.
Mum Katie said: “A lot of work goes into looking after bees and last year was extremely good. Laila did a half-hour assembly at school in her bee suit and beekeeping is very technical but she is learning so much. She does the beekeeping with her dad and it’s a great way for them to spend quality time together.”
Laila said: “I am the littlest person in the beekeeping association and it’s really good and keeps me busy and it’s really fascinating. There are thousands of bees in each hive and I am doing more now and helping to make the honey.”
The farm shop opens three days a week; Wednesday and Friday from 10am to 4pm and Saturday 9.30am to 4pm.