Bee Palace

Weald and Downland Open Air Museum Autumn Countryside Show

October 16th, 2014

We had a stall last weekend at the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum.  An army of volunteers make this place a proper living museum. Amongst displays of falconry, basket weaving, wood carving etc all sorts of locally sourced products are available. The weather wasn’t very kind but a good number started their Christmas shopping early. Lots of lovely people came and we sold a good number of Beepalaces. Here’s a photo of Nick smiling through a crowd of happy shoppers.

Weald and Downland Open Air Museum Autumn Countryside Show 2014

Weald and Downland Open Air Museum Autumn Countryside Show 2014

Many glowing comments on the shape and design of the Beepalace were made. I’ll show a photo of the original concept in our blog shortly. The transformation is quite something. It did take a few years and the help of a great Product Designer – Imogen Lawson-Evans.

We will be attending a couple of Christmas markets in November, The Weald and Downland (15th and 16th November) and Stansted Park (22nd and 23rd November).



The Eden Project ….what an achievement….

October 7th, 2014

We first went to the Eden project on our way to a wedding in Cornwall in 2002. It was about a year after they had opened their doors to the public. The bio-domes looked impressive but the landscaping was still raw. The Mediterranean bio-dome was sparse and the Tropical Rain Forest in its infancy . Seeing it again 12 years on was quite an experience. Our first visit lasted a couple of hours and we said how we thought Tim Smit’s achievement was phenomenal and hoped that it worked. This time we spent 6 hours and could have stayed longer. The Core was full of innovative ways to educate people on environmental matters and contains some great Heath Robinsonesque (!) contraptions.

The Eden Project’s take on bees is geared towards honey bees though they don’t admit to that! Biodiversity means championing all of nature, but solitary bees are a footnote in the projects scheme. The Cornish Black Honey Bees are something of a favourite in these parts – perhaps not unsurprisingly! Apis mellifera mellifera, as the Cornish Black Honey Bees are called in the senior common room, are the original bees of the British Isles

The Cornish Black Honey Bees are also a cause taken up by the Duchy Estate and 20 colonies are being established on Duchy land. Wouldn’t you like to have the heir to the throne championing your cause!

It would be nice if the Eden project would bang the drum for solitary bees a bit louder – but with a host of other pollinators needing more publicity it is easy to see why the honey bee gets most of the press.

The Eden Project is a fantastic place to visit. We stayed at The King Of Prussia in Fowey which is less than 30 minutes away – very pleasant place to sip a jar or two of Tribute.

We are preparing for the Autumn Show at the Weald and Downland Museum this weekend. Another great place to visit. Here are some pictures of the Eden Project’s take on pollination and bees (plus a gratuitous picture of a very tame Robin).

Gratuitous picture of a Robin.

Eden Project wild flower meadowA sorry looking solitary bee nest in the Allotment!A large honey bee dominates the Eden Project's garden for pollinatorsSome of the explanations on the relationship between bees and flowers can be hard to follow!



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