We’ve been beekeeping at our urban nature reserve, Wolf Fields, for over three years now, which has been both inspiring and challenging. In the last year, we’ve faced major challenges in the form of stress caused to our resident bees by the Beast from the East, followed by a Wax Moth infestation, which, sadly, wiped them out entirely. The task began to get a new queen and restore our hive.
We have now had the good fortune to connect with local Master Beekeeper Karen Mann, who has generously decided to work in tandem with us on a volunteer basis to clean up and prepare for a new swarm next spring.
Having an expert beekeeper at hand has been invaluable, not only for A Rocha UK, but also for some of our local partner schools in Southall. Wolf Fields Primary School called us to say that they had a swarm of bees just outside some of their classrooms. Karen identified the bees as Ivy Mining Bees, a solitary bee that is unlikely to sting. The school were then able to make an informed decision to leave them bee (sorry!)
Next week at Wolf Fields, we’ll be making frames ready for the spring, with children from Norward Green Junior School.
With such a wide variety of flowers growing, the Wolf Fields site is a rich source of food for all types of bee. We are very excited about restoring our honey bee hive next spring and, with a master beekeeper on our team for the time being, we’re confident that our apiary will thrive like never before.
Next spring, we will be looking for a local beekeeping volunteer, so if you’d like to help us build on the progress we’ve made, please do get in touch.