September '09 - La Seigneurie Gardens are Buzzing
La Seigneurie Gardens Trust took delivery of around five thousand new employees this month in the form of a swarm of honey bees. The swarm and a hive were donated by Guernsey apiarists Miranda and Philip Tostevin. They’ll be cared for by our produce gardener Jo Birch who’s been reading up on the ancient art of beekeeping and is enjoying her new role. "Bees need all the help they can get at present and La Seigneurie Gardens are an obvious choice for hives. Bees will fly up to 3 miles when foraging, and therefore pollinating, so Sark generally will benefit if the bees flourish." The new hive’s been placed in an area beyond the orchard that’s not open to the public and is ideally located for the bees to take advantage of the bountiful supplies of nectar within the gardens. To help them recover from their short sea crossing and settle into their new home, the bees are being fed a sugar solution but they’re already bringing their own food back to the hive. We're hoping to acquire a second hive this winter so that the swarm can expand and we should have our first crop of Sark honey this time next year.