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It’s been far too long since we had a good bee story.  Take a bow - Henley Conferences at Greenlands who I met at the My Venues showcase last week at Conference Aston in Birmingham. They told me about their bee colonies.

They have introduced ‘Bee Hotels’ at Greenlands, installed on the wall behind Kennet House.  Of the 250 species of bee found in the British countryside (no I didn’t know there were that many either) there is a specialist group which nest in small cavities, such as cracks in walls, hollow plant stems and beetle holes in dead wood.

However, changes in land management and agriculture mean these cavity nesting bees often struggle to find places to nest. Man-made bee hotels can provide them with a suitable alternative-providing them with nesting sites to start the next generation of bee.

Cavity nesting bees are particularly good at pollinating many of our crops such as apples, pears and cherries, and also many ofthe beautiful wild flowers we find in the spring time. Solitary bees are particularly docile and their sting is very weak. They don’t make honey either - so why bother to build a hotel for them?   Whilst they work individually they also work together for the benefit of the colony.  Whereas around 40,000 honeybees are required to pollinate one hectare oforchard only around 1000 solitary bees are required to pollinate the same area.

Any more hotel / bee stories please?

Published: 07 April 2014
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