Hidcote's bee observation hive
Away from the main apiary we have an observation hive located in the kitchen garden area. This was built in 2012 by our volunteer beekeepers from funds given to Hidcote by a local National Trust Association.
A small colony of bees and a queen are introduced to this hive in early summer when the weather has started to warm up. There's a poster to show what the frames in a hive look like, and there's a viewing door to look at the bees through a double-glazed panel. Usually the queen can easily be spotted with a coloured spot on her back as well as the bees coming and going with pollen through a small pipe entrance at the side of the hive.
To protect the colony in the colder months, the beekeepers remove them from the observation hive and take them to the apiary for overwintering.