Lots of sunshine and warmer weather means there is a buzz in the air, as spring finally arrives. The honey bees (Apis mellifera), here at The National Archives can now be seen collecting pollen and nectar from our bee friendly plants. I took the photo on the right last week on a sunny afternoon and the willow was alive with honey bees and bumble bees too.
In May 2010 honey bees were first introduced as part of the Biodiversity project at The National Archives, the idea was based on a number of suggestions from staff. Back then we started from scratch, this included assembling the hives and introducing honey bees that would suit the environment in which they were to be kept. This meant that they needed to be socially acceptable bees, you may laugh but this is true! So we selected Buckfast Abbey Honey bees, bred by Brother Adam at Buckfast Abbey in Devon to become very gentle honeybees – although like all honey bees they will still sting, they are bred to have a low sting instinct.