Warwickshire Museum Honey Bee Pollinators

Beekeeper Mike Townsend and the bees.
Photo by Catherine Beasley.

Recent publicity has drawn our attention to the importance of honeybees in the production of much of the food we eat. We read about beehives now being placed atop prestigious buildings in towns and cities to provide a home for these vitally important insects.

Over all those years with busy bees flying in and out of one of the windows at the Market Hall Museum in Warwick, visitors have been able to view their normally secretive world by observing their hard work and industry through the glass walled hive. The bees are still working hard for us to today flying from their historic viewing hive which, apart from cosmetic repair, is much the same as it was when first installed nearly 80 years ago.

Long time residence

Their long time residence means children who visited this popular exhibit years ago are now bringing their grandchildren. This means families across generations can share a memorable childhood experience.

Local children regularly visit the hive to check on their progress, and see how busy the bees are in summer, in their task of pollinating flowers in Warwick town centre, or how they snuggle up together to protect the queen during the cold winter months.

Managing the hive has been a partnership between knowledgeable museum staff who make daily observations and feed them when necessary, and beekeepers from Warwick and Leamington Beekeepers. Our current beekeeper is Mike Townsend, who can be seen with the hive removed from the Museum for cleaning and the introduction of new beeswax. The hive, like any bee hive, has to be managed to keep the bees healthy and productive.

Anyone wanting to know more should visit the Museum bees or experience beekeeping at one of the beekeeper taster days when visitors perform the tasks undertaken by a beekeeper. Visit the Warwick and Leamington Beekeepers website for further information.

Please note the bees are sometimes off-site due to maintenance requirements.

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