Exercise 1 Keeping Bees in the City

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IGCSE ESL Exercise 1 Keeping Bees in the City is an article about bee-keeping which you read and then answer questions to check your understanding of the text.

bees keeping in the city

This IGCSE ESL Exercise 1 about keeping bees in the city is in a computer-based version which is different in format from the paper-based version of the IGCSE ESL Examination.

IGCSE ESL Exercise 1 Keeping Bees in the City

For the IGCSE ESL Exercise 1, the text about the keeping bees in the city has been divided into smaller parts so you can focus on the task.

There is a new buzz in towns and cities in Great Britain. Bee-keeping, normally practised by people living in the country, has become a fashionable hobby for those who live and work in the cities. It is now estimated that there are more worker bees in London than there are working people.

Bee-keepers living in the towns have begun to outnumber those in the country because plants growing in towns can offer more exciting nectar (the bee’s basic food) than fields in the countryside. These fields have often been treated with pesticides which are harmful to bees.

1. How does the number of bee-keepers living in the country compare with the number in towns?

Question 1 of 8

Membership of the British Bee-keepers’ Association has almost doubled to 10,500 over the past three years in the biggest increase since the peak in the 1980s. This was just before a parasitic mite killed off millions of bees. One spokesman for the Association said, “Home-made honey from the towns is an entirely different product. Depending on the time of year, you get the different flavours of whatever the bees have been feeding on. You don’t get such variety with honey from the country.”

2. Why did the number of bees decrease dramatically at the end of the 1980s? 

*parasitic* *mite* killed off millions of bees

 

Question 2 of 8

Membership of the British Bee-keepers’ Association has almost doubled to 10,500 over the past three years in the biggest increase since the peak in the 1980s. This was just before a parasitic mite killed off millions of bees. One spokesman for the Association said, “Home-made honey from the towns is an entirely different product. Depending on the time of year, you get the different flavours of whatever the bees have been feeding on. You don’t get much variety with honey from the country.”

3. What can influence the taste of home-made honey?

 

Question 3 of 8

Young people are now queuing to join bee-keeping courses which are often over-subscribed. There are waiting lists to buy expensive beehives, costing around £100 each. Some people keep their beehives on terraces on their roofs, others in small gardens at the back of their houses.

Aysha Singh, who teaches classes on bee-keeping, said, “Most of those who join the bee-keeping course are young people. It’s a rebellion against the lifestyle of the office worker. These young people want to get outside as well as do more physical and manual activities. One man says that he can’t eat the honey as he is diabetic but he keeps bees because he needs some variety in his life.”

4. What suggests that bee-keeping courses are very popular?

Question 4 of 8

Young people are now queuing to join bee-keeping courses which are often over-subscribed. There are waiting lists to buy expensive beehives, costing around £100 each. Some people keep their beehives on terraces on their roofs, others in small gardens at the back of their houses.

Aysha Singh, who teaches classes on bee-keeping, said, “Most of those who join the bee-keeping course are young people. It’s a rebellion against the lifestyle of the office worker. These young people want to get outside as well as do more physical and manual activities. One man says that he can’t eat the honey as he is diabetic but he keeps bees because he needs some variety in his life.”

5. Why might bee-keeping be attractive to office workers?

Question 5 of 8

Bee-keeping is not a strenuous activity. Most experts say that hives need to be checked only once every seven to ten days, when the bees are at their most active, between April and July.

There are disadvantages, however. Jane West, who has just started keeping 60,000 bees in a hive near to a city centre, has already been stung a few times. “It didn’t hurt as much as I expected,” she said. “Bees are not threatening in the same way as wasps are. They are nice little creatures with complex social- structures. They are also good for the garden when they take the nectar from the flowers.” Jane restricts the number of bees she keeps because she thinks their humming sound “might frighten the neighbours”.

Warmer temperatures in towns and cities mean that the bees keep active longer. In addition, a beehive in the town produces about 20 kilos of honey a year, twice as much as in country areas.

What do the urban bee-keepers do with all that honey? People say that they give much of it away, especially to the neighbours… probably to keep them sweet!

6.  What are two possible disadvantages of keeping bees? 

 

Question 6 of 8

Bee-keeping is not a strenuous activity. Most experts say that hives need to be checked only once every seven to ten days, when the bees are at their most active, between April and July.

There are disadvantages, however. Jane West, who has just started keeping 60,000 bees in a hive near to a city centre, has already been stung a few times. “It didn’t hurt as much as I expected,” she said. “Bees are not threatening in the same way as wasps are. They are nice little creatures with complex social- structures. They are also good for the garden when they take the nectar from the flowers.” Jane restricts the number of bees she keeps because she thinks their humming sound “might frighten the neighbours”.

Warmer temperatures in towns and cities mean that the bees keep active longer. In addition, a beehive in the town produces about 20 kilos of honey a year, twice as much as in country areas.

What do the urban bee-keepers do with all that honey? People say that they give much of it away, especially to the neighbours… probably to keep them sweet!

7. How much honey is produced per year from a hive in the country compared to a hive in the town? 

Question 7 of 8

There is a new buzz in towns and cities in Great Britain. Bee-keeping, normally practised by people living in the country, has become the fashionable hobby for those who live and work in the cities. It is now estimated that there are more worker bees in London than there are working people.

Bee-keepers living in the towns have begun to outnumber those in the country because plants growing in towns can offer more exciting nectar (the bee’s basic food) than fields in the countryside. These fields have often been treated with pesticides which are harmful to bees.

Membership of the British Bee-keepers’ Association has almost doubled to 10,500 over the past three years in the biggest increase since the peak in the 1980s. This was just before a parasitic mite killed off millions of bees. One spokesman for the Association said, “Home-made honey from the towns is an entirely different product. Depending on the time of year, you get the different flavours of whatever the bees have been feeding on. You don’t get such variety with honey from the country.”

Young people are now queuing to join bee-keeping courses which are often over-subscribed. There are waiting lists to buy expensive beehives, costing around £100 each. Some people keep their beehives on terraces on their roofs, others in small gardens at the back of their houses.

Aysha Singh, who teaches classes on bee-keeping, said, “Most of those who join the bee-keeping course are young people. It’s a rebellion against the lifestyle of the office worker. These young people want to get outside as well as do more physical and manual activities. One man says that he can’t eat the honey as he is diabetic but he keeps bees because he needs some variety in his life.”

Bee-keeping is not a strenuous activity. Most experts say that hives need to be checked only once every seven to ten days, when the bees are at their most active, between April and July.

There are disadvantages, however. Jane West, who has just started keeping 60,000 bees in a hive near to a city centre, has already been stung a few times. “It didn’t hurt as much as I expected,” she said. “Bees are not threatening in the same way as wasps are. They are nice little creatures with complex social- structures. They are also good for the garden when they take the nectar from the flowers.” Jane restricts the number of bees she keeps because she thinks their humming sound “might frighten the neighbours”.

Warmer temperatures in towns and cities mean that the bees keep active longer. In addition, a beehive in the town produces about 20 kilos of honey a year, twice as much as in country areas.

What do the urban bee-keepers do with all that honey? People say that they give much of it away, especially to the neighbours… probably to keep them sweet!

8. Give four advantages of bee-keeping in towns and cities rather than in country areas.

Question 8 of 8


 

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