BuzzWorks Association Hitchin

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The BuzzWorks site at Old Hale Way allotments is used to host educational visits from schools and other interested groups. It comprises a garden containing plants that are particularly attractive to bees for nectar and pollen and a pond surrounded by pebbles to enable the bees to access the water safely. The Bee-School hosts an exhibition and an observation hive and enables a view of the 8-hive apiary behind.

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Beekeeping training courses are held at the HoneyWorks site in Burford Way allotments. Training sessions are held throughout the beekeeping year with theory and practical work geared to the beekeeping needs of the apiary at the time. In this way, students can immediately apply their learning to working with the bees.

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Hives must be frequently inspected to check that the colony is queen-right, has sufficient room and stores and is healthy. During spring and early summer, inspections are weekly. Here, a beekeeper is showing a beginner how to check the colony.

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Honeybees have a natural tendency to swarm during early summer; it is their way of increasing the bee population. The queen leaves the hive with half the bees to find a new home and start a new colony. This happens only when the colony has raised a new queen and just before she emerges from the queen cell in which she is growing. Swarming can result in the loss of many bees from the apiary and can be a nuisance to the public. To inhibit swarming, the beekeeper may cut out a queen cell as in this photograph.

Queen cell photo


Beekeepers will collect swarms of honeybees reported by the public. Swarms are unlikely to survive long in the wild these days due to the prevalence of disease. Here, the beekeeper is running a captured swarm into a hive where it can be looked after.

Running in swarm photo


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Page last updated on 16th January 2015