We have created a hidden space in our orchard where we hope many bees will thrive and multiply. Our first three beehives are top bar hives which means that the bees create the comb from the top bars like they would in the wild. (most national beehives have frames with the foundation already there.) See photos below. Our first beehive is a Kenyan Top Bar hive which received a swarm of bees on 30th May 2017 (collected from a house in St Ives) by bee expert Jenny Lewis and these bees have thrived so far through a very cold snowy winter and a boiling hot summer. We have 2 more top bar 'Warre' bee hives and captured two swarms for these in early summer from the Towan allotments in St Ives.
The hives were built and are maintained by Duwayne Langley, we are members of the WCBA (West cornwall beekeeping association) & Duwayne has done a beekeeping course through them. We also follow the principles of the Natural Beekeeping Trust as we want to work in harmony with the bees & let them live as much as they can as they would in the wild. For this reason we only plan to take honey from them when we know without doubt that we are leaving them more than enough honey to last the winter months. We don't want to feed them sugar water to tide them over as many other beekeepers do & will limit interference as much as possible.
In the orchard we have planted many wildflowers and we are totally organic so hopefully we are creating a wonderful environment for them. The plight of bees and other pollinators in the world and in the UK is very worrying and we want to try do our little bit to help them. Read more about the decline of bees and what we can do to help on our 'Save our Bees' page.