14 June 2012 By Billy Hawkins
Finally the visitors we have been preparing for (Dave Trevena especially) are in situ and settling in nicely. The visitors in question are bees, sourced from the locality and managed by the Petersfield bee society.
We have been very lucky in being able to provide the perfect surroundings for our new friends, with the beautiful Torberry landscaping, the flowers in the staff allotment, the new orchard and also the wide open fields of the South Downs on our doorstep.
Rather than the ornate white layered boxes which apparently don’t work too well as a hive, we have a wooden box with secured lid, mounted on bricks, adjacent to the factory and seating area. The plan is to grow the grass to waist height around the immediate area which provides some protection for staff, visitors and bees – not sure I’d want to stumble over a box of buzzing bees! Signage will eventually indicate exactly where the bees are.
The aim is to have a maximum of four boxes, with each box containing a remarkable 70,000 bees at the height of summer. During winter this will drop to around 20/30,000 all huddled around the queen, keeping her warm. Sounds like a great life, doesn’t it?
Representatives from Petersfield Bee Society will manage the area immediately around the hives, keeping the grass low which will involve a number of weekly visits during the growing months.
The bee-line is the hole in the box from which the bees enter and exit their hive and this is pointed towards the fields, so you can be sure you are out of their bee-line...Hence making a bee-line!
We are delighted to welcome Loren Lewis, a local beekeeper to our Summer Open Day on 14th July 10am-2pm. Please come along and join us to find out more.