Hot news from the Wildlife Garden is that our bee tree is now humming with a new swarm of bees which was introduced about a month ago.
Caroline, the garden's manager, told me she's been waiting to see how the bees got on before telling everyone. Actually, they are doing really well and will be a star attraction at the garden's Yellow Book Day this Sunday, 4 July.
So 'what's a bee tree exactly?' I hear Pooh bear mumbling in my ear. It's a bee hive that's been cut into an 8-foot high ash tree trunk, pictured left. There are now about 15,000 bees in the hive which also houses eggs, young bees and honey. You can find out more about our bee tree at the event on Sunday. A word of advice, when you visit it, open the bark doors very carefully. And make sure to close them when you've had a look, as bees like the dark.
Another highlight of Sunday's event is the chance to meet our resident beekeeper, Dr Luke Dixon. Luke is an expert in urban beekeeping and helps look after the garden's 2 private beehives, which are also new this year and doing well. He will be holding 2 sessions at 12.30 and 14.00 and visitors can don the protective beekeeping clothing to have a look inside the hives.
There may be some Wildlife Garden honey to sample too, yummy!
Other activities on Sunday include pond-dipping and a guide to the garden's native plants. There will be stalls with refreshments and wild flower plants for sale.
By the way, did you know that Melissa is Greek for honeybee?
Check out the Museum's Wildlife Garden
If you're interested in beekeeping, have a look at the Beekeepers Association website for some handy hints
Find out more about honeybees on our honeybees webpages
Thanks to Matt for the bee tree image and to Luke Dixon and Kristian Buus for the recent Wildlife Garden beehive images. Click on the images to enlarge them.