Beekeeping in Gloucestershire, Cotswolds

Calcot Bees

What's The Buzz

Since spring of this year we now have 5 hives of  Calcot bees and have enjoyed our second golden harvest of honey in October - clearly the bees have enjoyed feeding well within our meadowland, the abundance of dandelions and other wild flowers helped sustain them through some wet and unseasonable weather. Martin, our beekeeper kept a watchful eye on the hives and both guests and team members enjoyed getting to know more about these amazing creature.  We're looking forward to another year with our bees and learning more about them each season with the help and guidance of Martin.

Questions With Our Beekeeper

  • What's your favourite bit about beekeeping?

    The best bit about beekeeping is the anticipation of cracking a hive open... you can feel the energy as you literally crack the roof open (the bees seal it shut with a substance called propollis), the hum of the bees, the smell of the nectar, honey and wax, it's an amazing feeling!!! Looking in the hive and seeing the bees all doing well is so satisfying.

  • What is a bee's favourite food?

    Bees love nectar and pollen, they need both to survive and in doing so help us survive. Nectar is a liquid solution made up of sugar and water generally found within flowers at the base, this is eventually converted into honey. Nectar is a honey bee's carbohydrate and like us, it gives them energy. Nectar is crucial for flying and foraging, ventilating the hive and building comb. Pollen is their main source of protein, it also provides minerals, vitamins and fats. This is vital for brood production, and the development of young bees. Not all plants produce the same pollen with the same nutritional value... So bees like to get a balanced diet, the more floral sources available to bees the better and why wild flower meadows, hedgerows and forests are vital for our bees.

  • Do all Bee’s buzz the same and why?

    All bees buzz when they fly, the buzzing is their wings flapping at incredible speeds. Bees also buzz as a defense mechanism as a way of warning off unwanted guests, they can also communicate with one another through buzzing, they also communicate by throwing some moves and dancing. Some species of bees also use buzzing to help shake/vibrate pollen out of special anthers which without this 'buzz pollination' method would be almost impossible to access.

  • If you were a Bee living in a hive on the Calcot trim trail where would you go?

    Good question, rewilding this area is perfect for the bee me...

    Dandelions in the spring, clover in the summer, brambles in early autumn!!!

  • How can we all do our bit to help Bee’s?

    I think by wilding certain areas of our gardens helps all pollinators, a corner where we let things grow naturally and not be so tidy is a perfect way to start, we're obsessed with things being neat and tidy in the garden which isn't a pollinators natural habitat, don't cut the grass as much, daisy, dandelions and clover are fine dining in the bee world. Maybe put up a bug hotel or simply leave a pile of twigs or logs for them to crawl into and make a little home. Obviously planting bee friendly plants is an easy thing we can all do and you'll be surprised how many different species of bees you attract into your garden. When choosing plants, think about the flowering season, having flowers from early spring to late autumn is ideally what we are looking for, not just summer flowers, it's obvious when you think about it! Use less chemicals in our gardens; they just kill things! If we encourage bugs and pollinators, nature will keep things in balance for us.

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