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Andy Donnelly Head Beekeeper
Virgin Queen Bee
Little About us.
We are a small well established bee keeping company, and we have been selling our award winning honey for many years to the local community and via our Web site
Recently funding for supporting bee keepers, through inspectors has been severely cut, and our native bees have been threatened by various viruses, which has meant that many colonies have been completely wiped out.
Our aim is to protect and maintain the honey bee population from extinction, so therefore as bee keepers we have felt the need to develop as many ways to rescue and breed bees to improve their chances of survival.
Firstly we are on call usually within the day to rescue honey bees that have swarmed in the community, this service is free of charge. It is against the law to kill a swarm of honey bees. The bees are placed in the safety of a hive and managed, so that they don't swarm again.
Secondly we are developing a breeding programme, Many bee keepers are unable to get the bees that they would like, to increase there apiary, by developing a breeding programme, we are able to supply queens to other bee keepers so that they can increase their stock.
Thirdly we are promoting adopt a hive, where people who care about our honey bees, can sign up to support a hive for one year.
Our apiaries are situated in various locations, within a mile of the picturesque River Ribble, in the South Ribble area of Preston. This gives our bees the opportunity to feed from the wealth of wild flowers growing along side the river, and everything that grows in the local farmers fields.
By situating some of our hives in local authority allotments, our bees help local growers, by pollinating all their produce for the year.
Our hives based in our local woodland, benefit from woodland flowers, and also help the local farmers by pollinating their crops.
Each of our hives have up to 50,000 native British bees in the height of summer, going down to 10,000 during the winter months.
During the swarm season, any swarms that we collect that are not British, are re queened with a British black bee, to help save our native British colonies.They are placed into a hive, and managed to prevent re swarming.
A well established hive can produce 30lbs plus of Lancashire honey a year. Because we take the bees source of winter food, during winter the bee keeper needs to feed the bees, while they rest in their hive, they are fed with a solution of sugar and water, without this support they would starve throughout the winter. Also they need to be given medicine to prevent illness such as varroa mite.
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