Brogdale Bee Colonies


With of acres of orchards, Brogdale Collections heavily relies on pollinators such as bees. To help ensure the trees have as much help with this as possible, we recently welcomed two new colonies of bees.

Unbelievably, the buzzy, busy parcels arrived by post. Mick the postman was chuffed to bits with his unusual delivery as he’s a massive bee-lover and was not disturbed at all by the buzzing coming from the back of the van!

It was important that these new colonies were settled into their new hives as quickly as possible. Brogdale’s bee specialist Michael White was responsible for opening up the parcels, checking the very precious contents and installing them into their new homes.

Even though the bees had undertaken quite a journey to reach Brogdale, they were extremely calm when Michael opened the boxes. He was able to transfer the frames of bees across to their hives without even wearing gloves and wasn’t stung once.

Smoke helps pacify bees and Michael had a smoker on hand which helped ensure the transfer from box to hive went smoothly with very few bees escaping.

Each box contained five frames with plenty of worker bees, a queen and a brood which combine to make a viable colony.

There was also lava and pollen along with some nectar and honey in there – all the essentials needed to produce a thriving healthy bee colony.

It was easy to spot the queens who were marked in blue for this year’s colony.  They are smaller, young queens who would have hatched at the end of last season and will be in prime condition to get the colonies off to a good start.

Bees need sugar for energy in the form nectar (which becomes honey) and protein which helps them produce their young, which comes in the form of pollen.  This is why bees need to gather both pollen and nectar

Michael gave both the young colonies a bumper pack of food containing both sugar and protein to help them get started, so the bees won’t need to venture out for a while in the colder weather.

Michael has a team of volunteers who would ordinarily help keep an eye on the bees at Brogdale.   However, in the current lockdown, Michael will be doing this himself to make sure

they settle in well, but hopefully it won’t be long until the volunteers can get involved.

Brogdale Collections is a charity and the Brogdale Bee Project has been made possible by our kind funders:

  • Orchard Community Energy
  • Chapman Charitable Trust
  • The Elephant Pub, Faversham
  • The Nineveh Charitable Trust
  • Banister Charitable Trust
  • KCF – Lawson Endowment
  • The Robert Clutterbuck Charitable Trust
  • CLA Charitable Trust

The National Fruit Collection is one of the largest fruit collections in the world and is located at Brogdale Farm, near Faversham, Kent.

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