Rob and Di's Beekeeping pages    BEE

Bees at Standen.

We are involved with the bees at the National Trust property at Standen near East Grinstead in West Sussex.

At Standen there are 4 hives, 3 of which were donated by the Friends of Standen (FOSE) and the fourth is part of the

BBC and NT project "Bee Part of it". This project aims to help the decline in the honey bee population in the UK by

providing some 40 hives at NT properties in the UK.



This web site will show the progress of the bee colonies at Standen, starting with the construction of the hives:

Apple Construction

BBC Construction




Bees in the FOSE hives.


PEAR Installed 7th June 2010

QUINCE Installed 1st July 2010

Theses hives will be managed by Neil, with help from ourselves, Min, and will invite interest from many of the local

volunteers at Standen

Bees in the BBC Hive.

Latest News

The Swarm


The extraction of honey


Constructing the hives.

Neil and Rob have put together the WBC hives and made ready sites in the Orchard to house the colonies. One colony

is currently thriving, and has been named "APPLE"

Constructing first Lift


26th April 2010:

The first stage of constructing "Apple" in the courtyard at Standen


Brood box Next it's a Brood Box
first stage First stage completed, the light beat us, as well as worries over disturbing Standen residents with the tapping of nails!
on Site

28th April 2010

"Apple" makes its appearance in the Orchard, at this stage, unoccupied.


New Colony1

28th April 2010

After two nights work the first hive is sited in the Orchard.

Thanks to Di for recording progress through the lens!


Introducing Bees to "APPLE"


3rd May 2010:

The Bees are brought to Standen.




new colony2


Preparing the hive to receive the bees

new colony3 Lighting the smoker to pacify the bees
new colony 4 The bees in the "Nuc" in which they were transported to Standen
new colony4 Transferring the bees, frame by frame after placing some new frames in the brood box
new colony Bees in their new home with new and imported frames
Whilst in the Nuc, the bees had formed some comb off of the frame, this will be discarded.
On with the Crown board
Some syrup feed to start them off before the bees orientate themselves to start foraging.
Home sweet Home!

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The BBC Hive


21st May 2010

The BBC hive arrives!

BBC BASE First stage, the floor is built.
BBC LIFTS Then come the lifts.
BBC DONE Done, just waiting for some tenants!

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The Swarm.


24th May 2010

The swarm from APPLE finds a temporary home in a nearby fruit tree.

Branch A tricky job to remove the swarm on the morning of 25th May
shaking Shaking the bees into their new home.

25th May 2010

"Lavender" is occupied!


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The first honey of the season.

On Saturday 17th July, I visited Lavender and saw that there was a Super fully capped off with honey. I installed a bee escape board which allowed the workers to leave the Super, but not return. Below are some pictures showing the extraction of the honey from the Super.


Super box

21st July 2010

Here you can see the cleared Super. It weighed quite a lot and expectations were high for a reasonable yield of honey.

Capped frame A capped frame full of honey
A closer look A closer look.
UnCapping Cells Now it starts to get a bit messy! Before putting frames into the extractor, the cells need to be un-Capped with a sharp knife.
The flow The flow starts!
Sticky but happy

Sticky but happy! the honey has been collected and is now being transferred to jars.

In all I collected over 25 pounds of honey from this Super. What a great start to Lavender's production!

Interesting to note that records from Margaret Beale's diary of 1902 show that there was 25lbs of honey taken from the hive in Standen in September of that year.



Latest News

20th July

Shortly after the extraction of the honey, I have managed to lose my Queen!

This was noticed during an inspection of the hive by the local Bee Inspector, who was checking for European Foul Brood (no evidence!)

Now it could be that she has been deposed by the colony or (more likely) I have manged to squash her during an inspection. All is not lost as there are queen cups in the chamber and a new queen will be produced.

27th July

A further inspection revealed Queen Cells on Frames 2 & 4 The "best" looking cell was left on Frame 2 with others being destroyed. The Queen has a 16 day cycle between egg and emerging, I would expect to see the Queen emerge on or about 5th August.

12th August

Plenty of stores in the Brood chamber, but no evidence of the new Queen, or any eggs, I will inspect again in 1 week. There is more honey available to be extracted from Super 1.

20th August:

Di, Neil, and myself inspected Lavender yesterday and we were delighted to see some new shiny grubs on Frame 3, this means that we have a laying queen back in the colony....phew!!!

We also took the opportunity of having the hive open to install a clearing board to clear the workers off of the supers to allow us to extract some more honey.

12th September

We took a sample of some 30 bees to the Central Sussex Association for testing for NOSEMA, fortunately the test was negative.

14th September

Super taken from Lavender for honey extraction, not full by any means, we will see how much honey is there.





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