Wildlife

Our bees

Our bees returning to their hive. © Louise Washington

Our bees returning to their hive.

There have been honey bee hives at Hinton Ampner for over a hundred years. There was even a dedicated honey room where the combs were spun to remove the precious honey. This tradition still continues to this day, but on a much smaller scale. Not only do we keep bees for their honey, but more importantly for the biodiversity of the gardens. Bees are exceptional pollinators and with their numbers on the decline it is important that we encourage them into the gardens.

 

Our bees

Bees in mid swarm at Hinton Ampner © Louise Washington

Bees in mid swarm at Hinton Ampner

There have been honey bee hives at Hinton Ampner for over a hundred years. There was even a dedicated honey room where the combs were spun to remove the precious honey. This tradition still continues to this day, but on a much smaller scale. Not only do we keep bees for their honey, but more importantly for the biodiversity of the gardens. Bees are exceptional pollinators and with their numbers on the decline it is important that we encourage them into the gardens.

 

Our bees

Bumble bee collecting pollen © Louise Washington

Bumble bee collecting pollen

There have been honey bee hives at Hinton Ampner for over a hundred years. There was even a dedicated honey room where the combs were spun to remove the precious honey. This tradition still continues to this day, but on a much smaller scale. Not only do we keep bees for their honey, but more importantly for the biodiversity of the gardens. Bees are exceptional pollinators and with their numbers on the decline it is important that we encourage them into the gardens.

 

Our bees

Honeycomb from our hives. © Louise Washington

Honeycomb from our hives.

There have been honey bee hives at Hinton Ampner for over a hundred years. There was even a dedicated honey room where the combs were spun to remove the precious honey. This tradition still continues to this day, but on a much smaller scale. Not only do we keep bees for their honey, but more importantly for the biodiversity of the gardens. Bees are exceptional pollinators and with their numbers on the decline it is important that we encourage them into the gardens.

 

Swarms

Swarm of bees this summer at Hinton Ampner

Our hives have been really buzzing this summer, with a record seven swarms. Swarms happen when the number of bees in a hive grows and they run out of space. A new queen will hatch, and along with part of the colony, she will leave the hive to look for a new home. Alison, our beekeeper, has managed to catch some of the swarms and we have gone from two to five hives in one season.

 

Meet the beekeeper

Meet our beekeeper

Meet our beekeeper

What’s the latest buzz? Alison our resident beekeeper is on hand to answer all your bee-related questions. Join her on the last Friday of the summer months to learn everything you have ever wanted to know about bees. What flowers do they like best, and what do they get up to during the winter?

Try our honey cake

Freshly harvested honey from the hives at Hinton Ampner.

Freshly harvested honey from the hives at Hinton Ampner.

Why not try making your own honey cake? This delicious moist cake has an almost toffee taste to it. Perfect for a summer afternoon or try it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Did you know?

  • A bee colony will fly around 55,000 miles to make 1 pound of honey.
  • In a good season a hive will produce 60 pounds of honey.
  • It takes the nectar from 2 million flowers to make 1 pound of honey.
  • A queen bee is about twice the size of a worker bee.
  • The queen honey bee can lay as many as 1000 eggs a day.
  • Honey bees fly up to 15 mph and beat their wings 200 times per second.
  • Queen bees can live for 3-4 years, workers only live 6-7 weeks.

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