September 24, 2014

Finding out about bees!

We were lucky enough to have a couple of experienced beekeepers come to talk to us at Galleywall on Sunday - and they brought some of their friends with them.

The bees are temporarily shut into the frame when its out on display like this to keep both bees and people safe. In the bottom photo beekeeper Sharon is in the background.

It was really fascinating to watch the bees busily moving around cleaning out cells and feeding from the pot at the top. The queen - a real veteran at 3 years old (in theory queens can live to 5 but this is the oldest queen beekeeper Sharon has seen) - seemed to be laying eggs.

Unfortunately I couldn't get a clear photo of the queen, who was marked with a yellow dot.

We also got a chance to feel some of the wax comb.

We were hoping to get a hive at the reserve this year but due to illness (of the beekeeper not of the bees!) will have to wait until spring. Bees are incredibly important to the environment, and we already have habitat for solitary bees in various places, and had a bumblebee nest in one of our bird boxes this year, so being able to house some honeybees as well is great.

Check out the British Beekeepers Association for more information about honeybees, and many thanks to the beekeepers who came along to talk to us!

September 16, 2014

Forest School, and bees this Sunday

Today saw the very first Forest School session at Galleywall, with eight children from Southwark Park School coming to the reserve to explore and get to know it. They'll be back for another five sessions before half term, and we're hoping to run more.

Also this Sunday is our bee-keeping talk, starting at 13:30. Open to everyone and it promises to be really interesting. Feel free to bring along some lunch and explore the reserve a little -- our new Nature Trail should be available too.