Nottingham Castle: The place to bee

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We’re delighted to welcome the arrival of four beehives onto our site. Our hive installation is part of a wider project to promote biodiversity in the city centre. We also hope that the bees will produce enough delicious honey for visitors to buy in our castle shop!

Each hive is home to approximately 10,000 Buckfast bees! First developed by Brother Adam of Buckfast Abbey, Buckfast bees are known to be excellent pollen collectors, produce high yields of honey and are peaceful in nature. Our Beekeeper, Griff, who has considerable experience of urban hive management, will be onsite weekly to check up on the colony’s health. You can learn more about the Buckfast Bee story here.

Why do we need bees?
As we approach summer, we begin to notice the increasing number of bees buzzing our way, perhaps not giving much thought to the vital role these fuzzy little creatures play in our planet’s ecosystem. Bees carry pollen on their “fluff”,  also known as the pollen basket or corbicula, between plants of different sexes allowing them to reproduce. Pollination is the first small step in a huge ecological cycle that is responsible for a third of our global food supply.

What challenges do bees face?
As a result of growing urbanisation, intensive farming methods and unpredictable weather patterns, bee population numbers are in serious decline. Managed colonies declined by 53% between 1985 and 2005, whilst in the British Isles wild honeybees are thought to be extinct. Although the true extent of the decline is not entirely known, bee populations are experiencing serious threats and could face imminent extinction.

Why is Nottingham Castle a good place for bees?
Our green space, with an abundance of trees and diverse wildflowers, is an ideal location for an urban hive. The Park Estate to the west of the Castle site is a short flyable destination for the bees to gain access to the residents’ gardens and community parks. Research shows that bee communities can thrive in city environments as they are not exposed to the harmful effects of pesticides or herbicides.

World Bee Day
Since 2018, the UN General Assembly has declared 20 May to be World Bee Day. This initiative aims to highlight the importance of bees to our planet and the pressures they face. Our first 200 visitors on World Bee Day will receive a free packet of wildflower seeds to plant at home and help attract bees to their garden.

Discover how you can help make where you live more bee friendly.

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