Hear buzzing bees

Bumble bees, honey bees and wild ‘solitary’ bees love visiting meadows and wildflowers this time of year and the sound of buzzing is a sure sign that spring is on the way.

A short stroll will lead you to Attingham's Walled Garden and Orchard

Attingham Park, Shropshire 

Attingham's walled garden and orchard were probably built at the same time as the mansion in the 1780s for the first Lord Berwick. This productive area provided the Berwicks with a constant supply of fruit, flowers, vegetables and honey. It's still home to the Attingham bees who can safely be seen hard at work in the observation hive. If you have time, pop into the kitchen garden to see the Grade II listed Georgian bee house.

A child taking a close look at the spring blossom

Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire 

Stroll around the orchards at Clumber and spot the bee hives hidden among the trees and blossom. The orchards boast over 58 varieties of local apples, some of which you can taste in our restaurant.

Two people walking along a floral border

Beningbrough, Yorkshire 

Beningbrough’s flower gardens are home to several varieties of bee, including red-tailed and buff-tailed bumble bees. If you take a wander past the bee hive by the south border, there’s a good chance that you’ll see the busy residents hard at work among the flowers.

Two bees on a sunflower

Canons Ashby, Northamptonshire 

Bees, butterflies and other insects thrive on Canon Ashby's Victorian themed plants, especially the amaranthus foxtail, antirrhinum and verbena bonariensis. Throughout the gardens and grounds there are different types of bumble bee, as well as masonry, mining and cuckoo bees. How many species can you spot?

Bee hives in a meadow

Gibside, Tyne and Wear 

The bees at Gibside are particularly useful in the walled garden, where they help to pollinate the vegetable plants and the herbaceous border.

Bee on a flower in the garden

Hare Hill, Cheshire 

You’ll find a number of hives here at Hare Hill. If you visit on a Thursday throughout the bee keeping season (April to September), you may bump into our bee keeper.

Picture of a honey bee collecting pollen from a flower

Hinton Ampner, Hampshire 

There have been honey bee hives at Hinton Ampner for over a hundred years and traditional honey production continues to this day. Bees are exceptional pollinators and are also kept at Hinton Ampner to maintain the biodiversity of the gardens.

Bee on flower

Hughenden, Buckinghamshire 

If you’re investigating the spring flowers in the garden, you may spot some of our foraging bees. If you look closely you can sometimes see the colour of the pollen they carry and work out which plants they have visited. As the new beekeeping year begins, why not come along to one of our ‘Meet the Beekeeper’ events where you can see the model hives close up.

The garden terrace at Killerton in the summer

Killerton, Devon 

Honey bees are vital to the health of the orchards and garden at Killerton, and their efforts to pollinate flowers probably help your garden grow too. Killerton’s bees also produce delicious honey which is available in the estate shop – and any profit goes straight back into conservation work on the orchards.

A beekeeper checks the beehives in the orchard

Oxburgh Hall, Norfolk 

On a walk around Oxburgh’s formal grounds, you might spot some wooden carvings showing the animals, birds and insects that make their home here. One of the carvings shows a honey bee – representing the hives we have in the orchard and wash-pit field.

Honey bee feeding on a dahlia flower

Peckover, Cambridgeshire 

Peckover is another of our places that is helping to support the UK’s bees. There’s even a special border in the garden that our team has filled with bee-friendly plants, so that we can help these handy insects thrive.

Rowallane Garden Honey

Rowallane Garden, Northern Ireland 

Rowallane Garden's bees both pollinate the garden and produce delicious honey, which you can buy from the shop.

Alliums in a herbaceous border

Speke Hall, Merseyside 

The kitchen garden continues to be maintained each season in partnership with ‘The Come Alive Group’. The beehives are kept here - we use the honey in recipes in Home Farm Restaurant and are hoping to sell it in the shop next year, so you can enjoy it at home.