Hive of Activity
Even though the bees in the Stanwick Lakes apiary are not in full flight due to the chilly weather over the last couple of months, the project is starting to gather momentum. The work in the apiary has now been completed giving us a nice large wooden decking area for the hives to sit on. Everything went smoothly, apart from one bee that came out to see what was happening and tried to make friends with one of our workmen.
The decking serves two purposes for the project, firstly it raises the hives above what we hope to be the flood risk level, so when the river does burst its banks the hives are not sat in water. Secondly it allows the beekeepers and visiting groups plenty of room to observe the bees in a safe environment… Why not try to guess how many times a honey bee flaps its wings (we’ll reveal the answer in a week or so’s time!).
Within the hives the Queen will be busy laying her eggs and the colony will be starting to increase. Foragers will be bringing in pollen and nectar from the surrounding area to support the new bees in all stages of their development. Meanwhile the willow trees are starting to flower along with the blackthorn giving the bees some much needed supplies. During the colder days the bees will be relying on what’s left of the stores they built up at the end of last year, but to give them a helping hand they have also been fed with some fondant.
The project hosted its first Taster Session back on the 8th March and we were glad to see a good turn out. The history and future aims of the project were explained along with what potential beekeepers might expect to be doing over the forthcoming season. A demonstration of the hives that are used in project was also staged, with a question and answer session. Many of those that came have decided to sign up to the project but we still have spaces for anyone that is interested.
The next Taster Session is scheduled for the 24th April at 6pm and will be held in the Rangers Cabin. Following a similar schedule, we will run a short presentation covering the project’s history and future aims, what is required by a community beekeeper for a typical year and then take a look through an empty hive. Feel free to come along! If you are not able to commit enough time to manage a hive, there’s many other ways you can support the project so come and join us to find out more.