BEES, BEES, BEES!
Ben and I took a small group of our staff to the Idyllic fields of Leicestershire to visit David the Bee Farmer to gain some knowledge about the all important honey bee.
We all know that pollinators are under threat from various environmental issues, such as weather, pesticides and the Verroa mite. But until the time spent with David, I could not claim much knowledge about just how sophisticated and fascinating the honey bee is. Did you know that only 10% of eggs are male? Did you know the Queen bee can live for 3 to 4 years?
David treated us to a wonderful demonstration of how the hive functions and the life cycle of the bee colony. He is a full time bee farmer with around 100 hives and is in the midst of planting a wild flower field to be the home of another 50 hives.
We got suited up in bee keeper uniforms so that we could get up close to the hives. David started the day with a detailed look into a hive (with photographic representation of the stages of the bees’ lives) that he keeps for educational purposes and uses to demonstrate the structure of the colony and the life cycle of the bee. We then moved on to 2 different hives to see what David looks for to ensure the hive is healthy and functioning as it should. The different character of the bees in the different hives was fascinating; the first hive had bees which really buzzed around us; the second one was less focused on us and seemed less concerned about our presence. In each hive, we spotted the queen bee, who is larger than the worker bees (the females), and the drones (male) who are much bigger. We could follow the cycle of the colony and could see the larvae, the pupae and then the young, newly hatched bees.
Our group which included Thomas, Remi and Denis, thoroughly enjoyed the day out and the rest of my employees are queuing up to go on another outing.David got across his love of these incredible insects and just why they are so important in our lives.
Watch out, David, we shall be returning!!
– Ann Tonks
www.thebeefarmer.co.uk – David encourages group visits, please visit the site for more information.
If you’re interested in Bees as much as we are, join us on Friday 15th July for our next ‘Opus in Conversation’: Bees in the City – and see how you can help #SaveOurBees!