Bee Leeving Rewilding Hives

Hi and welcome to the Bee Leeving Rewilding campaign run by Phil & Lynne Cowley Jones 

This is a conservation project to create bee boxes to place in trees or on legs at various sites around our local town of Tenterden in Kent. 
They will act like bird or bat boxes to provide much needed homes for bee colonies. 
The modern approach to tree management means that any trees that are rotting and would naturally of provided a home for bees are now mostly cut down. 

Influenced by the most recent research of wild bee colonies and how supporting them to just live and prosper without human intervention can greatly help them and by the work of Matt Somerville from Freedom hives who is making a similar type of hive.

We intend to construct as many hive boxes As we can and site them ready for the spring swarm season each year.

The hives will be 3ft x 16 inch with 2 inch thick walls, twelve sided tubes with a fixed top and removable base, and will be constructed from Sweet Chestnut that is locally sourced, see picture

In October 2017 we started the project and managed via this site to fund the setting up of all the large tools and materials we needed to make the hive boxes for the swarm season of 2018, the initial idea was to build 10 but unfortunately we managed to fully construct and site only four in time, three of which now have bee colonies living inside them. Over this winter (2018) the other six will get finished and sites are already being secured for them 

All time, hand  tools and other costs will be met by ourselves and the setting up and transport costs also. 

We are hoping to continue raising money to produce more hive boxes but this means we need your support for the materials to do so.

Moving away from seeing bees as a source of honey for human consumption to appreciating and supporting their role as pollinators, and that our relationship with them should be that of caretakers not farmers is part of the education side of this project that we also hope to share via workshops and talks. 

We hope you can see how important it is to support the bees by not only giving them suitable homes but also increasing the health and genetic strength of the species 

These words from Jonathan Powell, trustee of the Natural beekeeping trust puts it very well. 

"Strong colonies of wild unmanaged bees are vital to bee health. Without the testing environment of nature, which has shaped and protected bees for millions of years, bees are at the peril of the short-sighted manipulations of modern beekeeping. These typically focus on narrow goals such as honey production, docility and supression of natural reproduction. Without a strong reservior of wild unmanagaed colonies it is possible that the UK will follow the path of several European countries, where the wild unmanaged colonies have disappeared and the remaining managed colonies need constant human intervention and treatment to survive. This is why this and other similar projects around Europe are so vital."

"We need healthy bees, we must let bees be bees. "

"There is very little scientific evidence, if any, that natural colonies of bees are a risk to managed apiaries. Indeed, managed apiaries with their horizontal transfer of pathogens, sugar feeding, cold boxes low on the ground, high colony densities, importation of queens unsuitable for our climate, and swarm suppression, are a significant source of sickness and genetic damage to the Bee. Only by respecting their innate preferences can we hope to support, rather than exploit, the honey bee."

Here are a few links that have inspired us to launch this project

Tree beekeeping

Please give what you can to get this project up and running and please share it on your Facebook page too. 
We thank you for taking the time to read this
Many thanks 
Phil & Lynne

Our initial fund raising reached the original total of £995 and we now are keeping going to raise more so we can continue making the hive boxes over the summer of 2018 so we can site more in 2019


Phil Cowley Jones

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