This week we had a visit from Matt Somerville of Bee Kind Hives to talk about how we can improve our beekeeping at Fir Farm. We will soon be getting new hives carefully designed by Matt to encourage healthier, more vigorous bees, which can thrive with minimal interference, reducing both stress and disease.
Honeybee populations have tragically declined in recent years as a result of industrial agriculture, disease and climate change. In fact, 10 million beehives were wiped out between 2008 and 2013. Yet they play a crucial role in ecosystems and a third of all our food produced globally depends on bees for pollination. Bee-centred beekeeping is an approach that could help restore natural bee populations. Guided by the biology and nature of the honeybee, non-intrusive methods of management are used to reduce stress for the bees and create as natural an environment as possible. As Matt says, “This sympathetic, considerate approach to beekeeping will enable people to live in harmony with bees, enjoying their presence in the garden and receiving the occasional gift of honey.”
We’re looking forward to installing our new hives and seeing more bees on the farm!