Return of the bee hives!

Some of you might remember the upsetting time at the end of last year when our bees suffered visits from thieves in the night. It was a small enough collection anyway, but unfortunately over the two visits our hives were reduced even further, leaving a much smaller colony to hopefully limp through the winter.

Damaged hive sections following overnight ‘visitors’…

The good news is that today one hive was returned to Compton Verney, having been recovered by Warwickshire Police. We had received news a little while ago that the hive had survived in one piece, so we’re relieved to once again have it back on site – it now awaits repair and renovation before being put back into use.

Bee hive back in one piece – just!

Quite coincidentally, another section of hive was also delivered to site this week by a Biffa employee, after it was recovered from a ditch on the nearby Fosseway. Luckily, the Biffa chap had heard our interview on BBC Coventry and Warwickshire’s Shane O’Connor breakfast show, so knew exactly where to bring the hive section! This one is a little worse for wear, but will soon be spruced up to resume activity in the spring. Quite a story indeed but hopefully now – signs of a happy ending.

‘Super’ section after a few weeks in a nearby ditch – repairable all being well…

On a lighter note, on the earlier assumption that our hives wouldn’t return, we took the plunge and ordered a nice new bee hive kit, which is currently under construction by our keeper Rod Oates. This will we hope allow us to start the season with three hives in total, in their new CCTV covered location! We’re also hoping to take advantage of some free colonies we were offered during the mini media storm that followed the thefts – we’ll keep you posted as to how this goes.

Finally, I’d like to add a word of thanks to all who offered sympathy and support, and indeed the folks who helped retrieve the hives – your help is very much appreciated.

Gary Webb

Head of Landscape and Gardens

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