Many visitors will have noticed that our honeybee hives are no longer at Sun Rising. It was a difficult decision but a mixture of weather and the abundance of oilseed rape crops locally was making the normally happy bees rather tetchy. Then a handful of people were stung, so we have had them taken offsite. There is always a balancing with bee hives in places where there is public access, and the balance just slightly tipped.
Although we’re sorry to have no honeybees, we do have a huge variety of wild bees, all busy getting on with the job of pollenating the flowers and topping up on energy for their own benefits. There are bumblebees, mining bees, carder bees and many more. This one is an orange-tailed early mining bee, Andrena Haemorrhoa, covered in dandelion pollen. They are only seen through spring and early summer, being the first of the mining bees to emerge from its underground nest.
We’re talking with our beekeeper to look at options with the honeybees. It’ll be lovely to have them back. When the oilseed rape has gone, and they’re feeding on the wildflowers, it is possible we’ll have a few hives return. We’ll let you know.