The big bee weekend at Nunnington Hall

Have you ever considered how important the honey bee really is?

Bee hive in the fruit orchard at Nunnington Hall

One out of every three bites of food we eat is a result of pollinators like honey bees, and crops like blueberries and cherries are 90% dependent on pollination. Honey bees are so important that farmers often have bee hives transported and then placed on their farm to provide pollination for their crops.

Nunnington big bee weekend
Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 April, 10.30am – 4pm

Come and meet local bee keepers and find out why it's imperative that we bee-supportive to one of our smallest, but most precious garden friends. See the bees at work in the observatory hives, find out how the honey is extracted, and what you can do in your own garden to help support bees. Throughout the day there will also be informative short talks and demonstrations, as well as garden games, family trail and craft activities.

Nunnington loves bees!
The garden at Nunnington has been managed completely organically since 2002, reviving traditional horticultural methods as well as embracing modern techniques and technology. Organic gardening means that manufactured fertilisers and synthetic chemicals are not used. Rather than eliminating pests and diseases the gardening team aim to maintain a natural balance, only using biological and physical controls when necessary.

This includes the introduction of honey bee hives during the spring and early summer. The hives are positioned in the fruit orchards, among the wild flowering meadows to help with natural pollination of the meadow and fruit trees.  Apart from helping to do an essential job, the bees produce a beautifully flavoured honey.

The humble bumble - It’s not all about the honey bee
The bumble bee is also used commercially in the UK as a pollinator of food crops, in particular for tomatoes and soft fruits such as strawberries. Due to their size, shape and ability to vibrate vigorously they are more effective at pollinating certain crops. In the UK we have 25 native species of bumble bee. This may seem like a healthy number but unfortunately three species are already extinct, two are critically endangered and many more are seriously declining in numbers.