When I started working at Cranfield University in March 2021, a couple of the things that I really liked were the amount of green spaces and their dedication to become more environmentally friendly.
I’ve never been in close contact with bees before, but I am an avid gardener and enjoy growing vegetables on my allotment, so I know the importance of our stripey friends. A few years ago, my fiancée had the opportunity to do a beekeeping experience day whilst studying for his doctorate in Plymouth. At the time I was very jealous, so I jumped at the chance to see what it’s all about.
We were all given bee suits before making our way to the apiary, where we found out all about bees before being given the opportunity to hold a frame.
My best bee facts:
– The smoke encourages them back into their hives, just as a fire would encourage them to go home to safety in the wild.
– The bees living in manmade hives are selected for their calm temperament and high honey yield.
– Bees have their own ‘waggle dance’, which they use to tell other bees where the good flowers are.
– A select few bee eggs are laid in bigger hexagons of cone, and these grow to become queen bees
During the session we were told that staff can volunteer to help harvest the honey later in the year and learn more about bee keeping, which I am really looking forward to doing. We were also encouraged to seek out our local bee keeping association. My dad is also interested in keeping bees, so we plan to find our local association to find out more.
I would really recommend other staff members to take advantage of the ‘Meet the Bees’ sessions.