Hansard Trust sets up beehive on their office roof to aid Guernsey bee population

September 15th, 2010 by Hansard Trust

Hansard Trust, based at Granary House, The Grange, has set up a new bee hive on the roof of their office building and staff think more local companies could do the same.

Hansard’s head beekeeper and General Counsel, Jonathan Hart said “the recent significant decline in the global bee population is a serious problem for us all.”

“Bees are a very necessary part of the ecosystem and are responsible for much of the pollination of flowers and other plants. The loss of this vital activity could be catastrophic for the food chain on which we, plants and animals rely,” he said.

Jonathan Hart, General Counsel of Hansard Trust, looks at the cells in a frame from the beehive (Click image to expand – image courtesy of Hansard Trust)

Philip Blows, Hansard’s Managing Director, said “setting up a hive on the roof has proved to be an easy and effective way of helping to combat this problem and it makes good use of the space which would otherwise be wasted.”

“Using office buildings for this purpose is not a new idea, after all you can find hives on the roof of the Bank of England (a former Governor kept bees there) and on Fortnum & Mason in Piccadilly, but I think we are the first company in Guernsey to accommodate bees.”

“At first we thought that the bees would invade the office but it is only very occasionally that one bothers to come in and we keep the windows and doors overlooking the roof open during this hot weather,” he said.

Mr Blows added that the hive would eventually produce honey for the company.

“Whilst the primary reason for our doing this is conservation, particularly as honey bees in Guernsey are still part of the original species from this area of Europe, we are producing honey, which we’ll share with clients and our staff,” Mr Blows said.

Jonathan Hart holds up a frame from the Hansard beehive (Click image to expand – image courtesy of Hansard Trust)

Jonathan Hart said “if we had a vineyard on our roof, we couldn’t hope to produce grapes or wine that was on a par with the great vineyards of France, but with honey that is not the case.”

“The taste and texture is governed largely by the pollen collected by the bees and our bees have been spotted in some of the most beautiful gardens in town, which bodes well for the flavour.”

“Honey that is produced in an apiary is an expression of the flowers in a three mile radius of the hive and in town there many exotic varieties of flowers from which pollen can be taken.”

“I’m sure 2010 will be a very good year for our honey,” Mr Hart said.


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