Meet the Bees of Insole Court

As some of you may have seen, we had a swarm of bees settle themselves on a tree outside the mansion. We're lucky enough to have a hive of bees at Insole Court.

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How do bees reproduce? Well, they split their colony in two - one part flies off as a swarm, with the old queen, while the other part nourishes a new queen who will breathe new life into the colony. On Tuesday 10th May we heard and saw a swarm coming to land on a holly tree near the entrance to the mansion. So we called our local beekeeper, Alun James - or Alun Bees as he's known around here.

The bees were in 3 clumps about 15 feet up, so he needed a ladder to get to them, and a pruning saw to remove a small branch blocking the way. Then, with a box in one hand, he brushed as many bees as he could into the box, then brought it down in the hope that he had caught the queen. If so, the other bees would come down to her. The first attempt didn't succeed, so back up with a box and brush, and this time Alun must have got the queen (along with a few stings) because the other bees came off the tree into the box.

The swarm will be put into a second hive in the Dairy Courtyard so we will, hopefully, have more lovely Insole Court honey to sell in the shop later in the year.

Currently we are fundraising to get a bee camera in the courtyard so we can keep an eye on the bees. if you would like to donate, you can do so via this link: https://insolecourttrust.beaco...

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