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2 Posts tagged with the beekeeping tag
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Bee movie

Posted by Rose Aug 12, 2010
Get a glimpse of our thriving bee colony inside the Wildlife Garden's bee tree in our latest video on the Natural History Museum's YouTube space.honeycomb-up-close2.jpg
In the bee tree video, join Museum beekeeper Luke Dixon as he strolls through the Wildlife Garden and looks inside the bee tree's observation hive to marvel at the colony and its wild honeycomb.

Watch the Wildlife Garden's bee tree video on YouTube

 

Luke reminds us how much we need bees and how important it is to encourage them, especially since the drastic decline in our worldwide bee population.bee-tree-tall.jpg

 

We've been keeping bees here in the Wildlife Garden for about 6 or 7 years and in the height of the summer months our bee colony can be 50,000 strong. Once a bee emerges from its cell it can live between 3 to 6 months depending on the time of year and food available.

 

This summer the bees living in the bee tree, pictured here earlier in June, have had a very successful season and have since extended the honeycomb to the very bottom of the hive.

 

You can also catch up on the bee tree colony's daily progress with our online beecam.

 

As the days get longer they're beginning to settle down for the winter. The male bees, the drones, are being kicked out of the hive and the number of workers is reducing dramatically as the queen stops laying eggs for new offspring.


The honey that the bees have made is their winter stores, to feed on in the long, cold months when there is nothing to forage on outside of the hive. I wonder if there'll be any spare for us?

honeybee-wide.jpg

 

Read the earlier bee tree blog.

 

Find out more about the Museum's honeybee species, Apis mellifera.

 

 

Click on the images to enlarge them.

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The big buzz

Posted by Rose Jun 30, 2010

bee-tree.jpg

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 bbeehive-wildlife-garden-1.jpgee 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!

beehive-wildlife-garden-2.jpg

 

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.