New colony of bees join Barwell’s apiary

Barwell’s hives have welcomed new members – a colony rescued from a rooftop chimney in Epsom.

BeesMAX, the not-for-profit company helping reverse the decline of the UK bee population, extracted the bees who had made their home deep within the chimney.

Managing director Mark Gale said: “The colony was on the brink of destruction. Hard decisions had to be made, the nest was cut out comb by comb, and placed into a temporary box to allow the bees to reorganise themselves and coalesce back into a single organism. This success of extracting the colony brings a sense of relief and achievement, soon to be shared with visitors to the Barwell Apiary, who will marvel at the bees’ ingenuity and resilience, making the best of whatever cavity they find themselves in!”

With spring finally arriving in May, the honeybees at Barwell emerged from the grip of a long and difficult winter that had lasted six relentless months. The deluge of excess water weighed heavily on both plants and honeybees, delaying the bees’ breeding season and disrupting the delicate balance of nature’s rhythms.  Many wild honeybee colonies are currently teetering on the brink of starvation, having barely endured the winter. Yet, amidst these challenges, wild colonies exhibit a remarkable resilience, surpassing the domesticated hives tended by beekeepers who have lost nearly 50% of colonies, up from the usual 25%.

Visit BeesMax’s YouTube channel for more on the chimneypot bees.