At the start of 2023, FIAUK decided to adopt a beehive as part of its sustainability program.
Hosting a thriving colony of honey bees aligns with the association’s commitment to environmental responsibility. A species under threat, honey bees play a crucial role in maintaining biodiversity and supporting natural ecosystems. By providing a suitable habitat for bees, FIAUK contributes to the conservation of pollinators and the preservation of local plant communities.
FIAUK Board Member, Matt Bates, is a beekeeper (or apiarist), and volunteered to create, manage and take care of our important new members!
Matt created this hive from an existing colony by taking eggs, brood and a number of young bees and moving them in to their shiny new FIAUK home. Over the following five weeks, the bees raised their own new Queen to head up the colony.
She hatched, left the hive to get mated and safely returned to the hive. Upon inspecting the hive on June 4th 2023, the Queen had started to lay eggs and the colony was established!
Honey bee Facts:
There is one queen per colony – She can lay up to 2,000 eggs per day
A colony of honey bees will fly around 55,000 miles and visit between two to four million flowers just to produce one jar of honey
A honey bee beats its wings 230 times per second and can fly at 20mph
One in three UK bee and wasp species are under threat
There are around 50,000 bees in a honey bee colony in summer
Each individual bee only lives for six to eight weeks during the busy summer months, six months through winter when there is little work to be done
Honey bees are essential for pollination, which is vital for agriculture and the production of many of the foods we eat. 80% of the world’s crops are pollinated by honey bees
In the UK, honey bees are responsible for pollinating one third of the food consumed
Bees communicate by ‘dancing’ in the hive to show other bees where forage areas are. This is known as the ‘Waggle Dance’
Looking to support the wild bee population? Plant a bee-friendly garden!
Wildflowers are a great source of nectar and pollen for bees
Many herbs are great for bees, such as mint, lavender, thyme, and oregano. These plants produce small flowers that are rich in nectar and pollen
Fruit trees such as apple, cherry, and pear provide bees with a source of nectar and pollen in the spring
Berries like raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries produce small flowers that are rich in nectar and pollen
Sunflowers produce large flowers that are a great source of nectar and pollen for bees
Clover is an excellent source of nectar and pollen for bees, and it is easy to grow in a variety of soil types
Why not meet the new FIAUK members for yourself? If any members are interested in visiting the hive, located in Derbyshire, to learn more about beekeeping, Matt will happily accommodate this.