Busy bees

Posted: July 25, 2018 at 13:26 pm Author: Joanna Murray

This summer we’ve had some busy woodland creatures buzzing around the arboretum with us – bees!

Discover this apiary on your next visit to the arboretum

Beekeeping courses have been hosted here over the last few months for budding apiarists to learn more about successfully keeping happy, healthy bees. A few members of the team went along to find out more about our cohabiters.

Being amongst the trees is where bees naturally like to be, which makes Westonbirt Arboretum a great place to house them over the summer. These amazing insects pollinate one third of our global food supply, however, they prefer to eat nectar and pollen which they collect from flowers, and this is then used to create honey and beeswax.

Chloe (Project Officer), Alice (Volunteering Administration Officer) and Karen (Community Project Coordinator) find out about the bees at Westonbirt Arboretum this summer

After all this buzzy work the hives need to take a break and will be off for the winter so spot them while you still can.

Fun facts about bees

In the UK there are 250 bee species including 24 species of bumble bee.

The queen bee will lay up to 2000 eggs per day, that’s twice her body weight!

Bees have two stomachs – one nectar stomach and one normal stomach. If travelling far for pollen, they’ll send some to their normal stomach for energy, whilst sending the rest to their nectar stomach.

Bees communicate through a waggle dance. A method for successful foragers to share information about the direction and distance the bees will need to travel to reach the desired pollen.

Why not plant flowers in your garden which are rich in nectar, such as lavender and bluebells, which will help bees find the food they need?

Find out more about the wildlife in the arboretum this summer...