England: The Bee Hotel Gets A Makeover. New Quarters For The Bees.

Over the past 2 or 3 weeks we have been busy in our spare time making some new bee chamber logs to install into our ‘Bee Hotel’ at Jeslyns Country Park which is run by the Forestry Commission of England.

Above and below  – some wooden bees have been cut,

painted and added to the logs this time.

 

In the workshop -newly drilled logs ready to go out to the hotel.

 

You can see a photo when we originally made the hotel about 5 years ago.  

Above – after completion of the first hotel 5 years ago 

Below – Denise after a new roof fitted but waiting for new logs

The log chambers have been in constant use and so it has been decided to replace them and give the bees new facilities in which to lay their eggs.  We did some a few months back and they (the new ones) have proven to be very popular.  The solitary bees which use them are some of the best pollinators of fruit trees.  The bee hotel has been located very near to the Jeskyns orchards where an amazing 756 different varieties of apples are grown.  So we rely on the bees to help pollinate all the fruit trees in the orchards, which they are happy to do

It’s a simple but very important cycle.  We prepare all the logs with their many sized chambers and place them into the hotel.  The bees go into the log chambers and lay an egg.  They also leave a little bit of pollen for the hatchling to feed on when it first emerges within the chamber.  After it has laid the egg; the adult bee seals up the egg chamber with mud to keep the egg safe.  When the hatchling has emerged (hatched) and eaten in the chamber; it breaks through the mud wall and flies off – hopefully in the direction of the orchards

You can look at any of the logs (see photo below) and you can see where many of the chamber holes have been sealed up with mud by the adults.  You can also see the chambers which are still empty and ready for other visiting bees to lay their eggs in.  The aim is really to get as many of the chambers sealed up with mud as possible; as this indicates that we have a good and constant supply of new young bees in the area.

You can see one of the newest logs in use here on the left and many of the chambers which have been sealed with mud.

 

Above – an new log on the left side and some of

the chambers sealed up with mud.  Older logs now showing their age but still also in use !

 

When all the different apples have been picked in the orchard they are put into crates and taken to the Jeskys café; where users of the park call in for a cup of tea and a bite to eat after they have taken their dog(s) for a great walk.  There are a lot of apples and so they are provided for folk to try and take away. All that is normally asked is a voluntary donation which is put directly back into park upkeep and wildlife conservation.

So this kind of completes the circle – us and the bees working together for the benefit of each – and loads of beautiful fruit as a result of the work

Here above you can see some of the apples on display for visitors to take home when they visit the park.

 

Jeskyns on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/jeskynscommunitywoodland/

 

Photos – https://www.facebook.com/pg/jeskynscommunitywoodland/photos/?ref=page_internal

 

 

Below – Ah bless – our little Pixie (Denise) takes a toadstall cos she has been working hard !

 

Below- there are lots of wooden Fairy Houses in the park for youngsters to leave gifts for their fairy friends.

Below – fairy gifts left by the children:

 

Finally – Many a true word!

 

 

 

 

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