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Honey Bees Return

Thursday, June 25th 2020

Over recent weeks, whilst the centre has been quieter than usual, work has been carried out on cleaning and improving the observation beehive. Colonel Alistair and Alison Shepherd from the Richmondshire District Beekeeping Association care for and manage the Foxglove hive. RDBKA is an association for people who keep bees and for others interested in the craft within an area around Richmond town from Masham to Barnard Castle.

The hive was first emptied and cleaned before repairs and improvements were made.

The new bees were then transferred carefully from a nucleus box (known by beekeepers as a 'nuc'). Nucleus colonies, are small honey bee colonies created from larger ones after a swarm or a split. They can also serve as a bait box to try to capture swarms.

Frames from the 'nuc' were installed in the clean hive along with the queen bee (marked with blue paint) who encouraged the others to follow.

They seemed to settle fairly quickly and were making the most of the sunny weather to explore their new foraging grounds. Alison photographed them at the entrance tunnel 'fanning' their pheromones to lead the others to the hive.

Our thanks to Colonel Alistair and Alison for supplying the bees and looking after them and to Bob for all of his hard work cleaning and repairing the hive. Bob also deserves a mention here for the days and days that he has spent reclaiming old wood from past projects so that it can be re-used on the reserve.

Not only will this make life easier when the timber is needed but it will save the reserve hundreds of pounds too. Thank you!


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