Our bees at Hinton Ampner

Picture of a honey bee collecting pollen from a flower

We love working with nature here at Hinton Ampner and our wildlife is very important to us. There have been honey bee hives at Hinton Ampner for over a hundred years - meet our beekeeper and find out all about our bees and managing the hives.

Our bees

There used to be 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 hives have been really buzzing, 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.
Visit the hives at Cherryburn to see the bees at work
Bees in the hive
Visit the hives at Cherryburn to see the bees at work

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.