In 2022 the first beehives were set up in the meadow of Gilbert’s grounds. There are currently three hives which are home to colonies of honey bees. On the 5th June 2023 Gilbert White’s house & Gardens became the first institutional member of the British Beekeeping Association in 80 years!
Over the Summer of 2023, the museum put on an exhibition celebrating 400 years since the first edition of ‘The Feminine Monarchie’ (the History of Bees) by Charles Butler. Gilbert White was the great great nephew of Butler!
The apiary team are busy all year round. In their first year the group made over 300 jars of honey, ranging from liquid to crystallised form. The beekeepers have also led theory and practical classes, as well as getting involved in educational events.
The group runs beekeeping theory classes, where you can learn how to set up and maintain a beehive, as well as produce products from the hives. Following completion of the theory classes you can put all your knowledge to the test in practical classes, from identifying the Queen to harvesting honey to jarring it up and more! Please contact us if you would like to get involved.
The team at Gilbert White's House & Gardens focuses not only upon the conservation of honey bees but other pollinating insects too. A new emerging threat to pollinators is the Asian Hornet. This species was inadvertently brought to France in 2004 and has since spread and predated a number of pollinators including honey bees. The Asian Hornet can kill between 30 to 50 bees per day. Due to the importance of pollinators within the ecosystem it is crucial that any sightings of Asian Hornets are reported to the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology so that they can be dealt with swiftly.
Click on the link to report a sighting (with a photo): Report A Sighting