As part of their commitment to giving something back to nature, events group, Sundial has over 300,000 honeybees in the grounds of its two venues; Highgate House in Northamptonshire and Woodside in Warwickshire.
The bees are part of the group’s ongoing commitment to sustainability and caring for the environment, whilst helping to reverse the decline in bee population.
Why are they so important?
Bees are tireless pollinators of trees, plants, flowers, vegetables and fruits. Not only are they essential to the health of our eco-system; they are vital to the world’s agricultural economy. 90% of food worldwide is provided by just 100 crop species. 71 of these are dependent on honey bees, so the serious decline in bees in the UK is a threat to future food supplies.
Here are 10 things you may not know about these fascinating creatures…
- Bees live in colonies with other bees and they work in cooperation with each other.
- Bees not only make honey. They pollinate flowers and plants which helps develop a thriving natural environment for fruit and vegetables to grow.
- Bees use the sun and other landmarks to find their way.
- A bee has five eyes and can even see ultra violet light.
- Bees have special ‘baskets’ made of stiff, curving hairs on their back legs to carry the pollen back to the hive.
- Bees survive the winter by eating stored honey and keeping warm with other bees.
- Bees use a ‘waggle’ dance to show other bees where to find a food source.
- Bees have an expert sense of smell. They can differentiate hundreds of different floral varieties and tell whether a flower carries pollen or nectar from metres away.
- A bee flies to thousands of flowers to make just one spoonful of honey.
- A bee’s brain is only about the size of a sesame seed, yet it has remarkable capacity to learn and remember things. It is able to make complex calculations on distance travelled and foraging efficiency.