The humble bee provides an essential service to gardeners © National Trust/Marina Rule

The humble bee provides an essential service to gardeners

The gardener's friend

One in three mouthfuls of the food we eat is dependent on pollination so the disappearance of billions of bees worldwide is a cause for concern.

Our own colonies have been decimated due to adverse weather and infection by the mite Varroa destructor. We therefore want to do all we can to encourage nature’s great pollinator, the humble bee.

Getting up close

Our Head Gardener Phil Griffiths and colleague Gareth Wearne are both training as beekeepers. 

Amongst other things, they’re learning the roles different bees have within the colony and how to spot disease within it.

Did you know?

  • Bees make different flavoured honey from different flower varieties
  • Chemicals from glands in the bee’s head mix with nectar to form honey
  • Around 4,000 tonnes of honey is produced in the UK each year
  • There are around 60,000 bees in the average hive
  • There are around 30,000 bees in the average swarm

Encouraging bees

Flowers and vegetables cohabit in our Walled Kitchen Garden. This isn't just decorative, but a deliberate strategy to encourage bees to visit and pollinate our fruit and vegetables.

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The restored Victorian bee house