Bees

The bees at Cressing Temple Barns

 

The apiary at Cressing Temple Barn is situated in the apple orchard and in the spring is surrounded by beautiful marguerites and over-hanging apple blossom. The hives used to be in the walled garden, but they were moved for safety reasons as each hive can contain up to 70,000 bees in the summer months.   However, if you go into the walled garden you will see two old-fashioned skeps, or alvearies, made of willow where bees would have been kept in the old days.

Beekeepers Jan and Walter look after the apiary and they’re always keen to pass on their knowledge to Cressing’s volunteers. The Friends of Cressing Temple Gardens is a member of Braintree Beekeepers’ Association so that volunteers can attend meetings, talks and practical events to learn more about the bees (www.braintreebka.wordpress.com).

With all the beautiful countryside in this part of Essex, the Cressing bees produce some flavoursome honey which can be purchased in the Wellhouse. In the spring the bees will collect nectar from oil seed rape and this produces a thick white set honey. In late spring the apple blossom is out and in early summer the bees will forage on borage, field beans and garden flowers. All these flowers will produce different flavoured honeys.

If you are interested in learning more about the bees and beekeeping, why not join the annual Introduction to Beekeeping Course here at Cressing Temple Barns. It’s an excellent event with honey tasting, candle rolling, frame making and you’ll have the opportunity to get dressed up in a bee suit and inspect the hives. Contact Cressing Temple for more information.

 

The craft of beekeeping is one of the fastest growing hobbies in the UK and ‘backyard beekeeping’ is becoming a new craze – and where better to learn than in the beautiful surroundings of Cressing Temple Barns.

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