Happy Mondays dancer Bez has been criticised by a local beekeeping association after publicly backing an urban bee scheme in Manchester.
The maraca-shaking mascot, real name Mark Berry, described himself as a “full-time honey monster” after he helped install two beehives on the roof of Manchester venue The Printworks. However, writing to The Guardian, Mary Slater of the Bromley Beekeepers Association has suggested that Bez was misleading in his comments when he suggested the practise was cheap and easy to make money from.
Speaking last week, Bez, who now lives part-time on the Cwm Yr Heol Farm commune near Swansea, where he first learnt to keep bees, claimed that he purchased his first hive for just £50 off “some fella” – a sizeable discount from the usual £800 price. This, in particular, has angered Slater who writes: “Berry is quoted as saying that “you don’t need to pay a fortune” – but to be successful, a beekeeper needs at least two hives and spare equipment too for coping with swarms etc. Has he studied the Defra [Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs] info about diseases?”
Slater continues: “People who begin beekeeping in an impulsive way often give up after a year or two when their bees die out and they become disheartened. It takes many years to learn the skills of beekeeping – to just start up is irresponsible and disastrous for the bees. Berry should join his local beekeeping association and register on Beebase.”
Bez previously revealed that his newfound hobby hadn’t been without its drawbacks. On one occasion, he claimed around 100 bees got inside his pants and stung him badly when he left his trouser zip undone. He was forced to run into the woods to escape the hive, but was still “stung everywhere”.