Bees at Wimpole

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Display beehive
We once again have a display hive at Home Farm.

The 30,000 strong honey bee colony surrounding their Queen, have built a wax comb nest, as they would in the wild.It's behind Perspex windows, so you can see the bees building the wax comb, looking after their home and coming in and out of the hive.

Traditional beehives
We have a number of traditional beehives around the Estate, in and around the Walled Garden and also at the Farm, these are managed by a number of beekeepers.

Warre beehives
A warre beehive is a more natural way of keeping bees, as the hives resemble those of a tree trunk, the natural home of bees in the wild.

Each hive box is roughly cube shaped and the number of boxes in the hive increases as the colony expands. Inside the hive they just contain a series of rods to which the bees attach they wax comb rather than the frames in the traditional square beehive.

In a warre hive, the bees are left to build they wax comb without interference from the beekeeper. You can see our hives on the edge of the woodland beyond Cobbs Wood Farm, where we hope they will thrive and help to pollinate our crops and hedgerows plants.

Wild bees
Wimpole has a number of wild bee colonies which can be seen, particularly on warmer days buzzing about the Walled Garden where they have made a home in the hollow wall. There is also a colony in the bricks of the Hall.

Honeybees, Pollinators and Pumpkins
In partnership with local beekeepers, in 2010 we worked on a 'Honeybees, Pollinators and Pumpkins' project with children from Petersfield Primary School in Orwell. The children learnt all about bees, how to set up a display, grow pumpkins and pollination.

In March, Heather Polge, Wimpole’s Learning and Interpretation Officer and local beekeeper visited the school for a 'Bee Aware' day. The children found out a lot about different sorts of bees, looked at some bee keeping equipment and everyone tasted honey.

'Taking the children to see the bees in the display hive was fun as the bees definitely have a ‘wow’ factor for both adults and children, judging by the exclamations of surprise and the questions asked. We identified drone bees in the exit tube and saw worker bees bringing pollen back to the hive to feed the bee larvae.'