Bee Keeping at Xscape
In March 2017 we became the proud owners of thousands of bees to help support the local natural environment.
So far we have approximately 25,000 bees in residence within a hive in a cosy area on the roof of Xscape, and numbers could grow to 50,000 at the height of summer.
Our bees are tendered to on a weekly basis during which our Xscape Bee Keepers check for the queen, the brood and eggs as well as checking for food and diseases. We are hopeful that by the end of the year, the bees will have made enough honey for us to extract, jar and sell in-centre to help raise funds for our 2017-18 Charity of the Year, Barnardo’s. Extraction of honey takes place twice a year.
Did you know…?
- Each hive contains a queen bee, thousands of female worker bees and hundreds of male drones created from un fertilised eggs, whose sole purpose is to breed with a queen
- A hive can house up to 50,000 bees in high summer
- The main purpose of the queen bee is to lay eggs
- A queen bee can live up to 6 years
- The queen only mates once in her life span
- In summer a worker bee lives for just 40 days
- Bees communicate through dance and pheromones to pass on the location of food sources
- Bees have 6 legs, 4 wings and 5 eyes, 2 large and 3 smaller eyes at the centre of the head
- Despite the phrase ‘bees knees’, bees do not have knees!
- It's possible for bees to fly as far as 5 miles for food, however an average distance would be less than a mile from the hive. A strong colony flies the equivalent distance of the earth to the moon every day!
- The normal top speed of a worker would be about 15-20 mph (21-28 km/h), when flying to a food source, and about 12 mph (17 km/h), when returning laden down with nectar, pollen, propolis or water.
- Swarming is the process of bees leaving their home to find a new nesting site. Unlike humans, bees leave the home rather than waiting for the offspring to leave
Visit The British Beekeepers Association website for more interesting bee facts.