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The honeybees have arrived

BeesMAX successfully installed the first live colony of honeybees at Chessington Garden Centre earlier this year. The team at Chessington Garden Centre have been incredibly supportive, providing wonderful facilities for the bees, and really embracing the whole BeesMAX ethos. The installation of the new hives has been an absolute joy. 

We have developed some exciting beekeeping events this year to promote environmental awareness in regards to the importance of honeybees, and inform people about where in the wild honeybees really live. The most recent event was the Lime Tree Bee installation in June.

Where do honeybees come from?

Honeybees you see in the garden and in the meadows of the UK countryside originally came from hollow trees and were then domesticated into the manufactured beehives you see today. Our sister company Tree Bee Rescue was set up to rescue wild honeybee nests as bees crave the warm, sheltered, safe space of a hollow tree trunk. And the services of Tree Bee Rescue came to the fore very recently with the placement of the remains of a veteran tree in the nursery grounds here at Chessington Garden Centre.

The trunk of the veteran tree had wild bees living within it and needed to be rescued. The garden centre was incredibly kind to allow Tree Bee Rescue and BeesMAX to relocate this trunk to the garden centre so the bees will now be able to survive and produce swarms and help maintain the local bee population.

Honeybee colonies will remain for many generations in a tree that could have already taken a hundred years to grow.

An opportunity to experience and learn

There is so much that can be learned by putting on specialist beekeeping PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and observing the interior of a colony close up. And the BeesMAX hives at Chessington Garden Centre provide such a great learning environment for adults and children.

When visitors are in the moment, observing thousands of bees functioning as a single productive unit drives the imagination to wonder in awe at their level of automation on a scale we can only struggle to achieve.

Visiting the bees for a six year old, for example, could mean just observing and standing close to the entrance, hearing tales of what it is to be a beekeeper. Young people never forget the wow factor of such a fully immersive attention-grabbing experience.

Bee hive events and activities

Over the past few months, BeesMAX has enjoyed several successful events and activities at Chessington Garden Centre, with many guests coming along and putting on the bee suits. Visitors have been able to safely experience the whole immersive effect of being surrounded by hundreds of flying insects that make a consistent and coherent sound. 

Becoming entranced is not too strong a word. When you enter the realm of the white noise of bees flying freely around you, sometimes in their thousands, then all other thoughts disappear and all other problems seem to melt away.

The sound our visitors experience is a little like white noise that people are more familiar with these days.  But with the bees, they have their own white noise, their own hum.  

The garden centre has become a really important location on the BeesMAX calendar since the installation of the honeybees. We’d like to thank all the staff at the garden centre who have championed the honeybees and the installation process through to completion. 

We have other public activities planned so look out for further information.