Bees at Thornton in Craven


We had a spare bit of land that is off to the side of our incredible playing field. It is separated by a tall hedge and locked gate. The area holds three apple trees and not much else. This has been the perfect spot to set up the Thornton in Craven CP School apiary. With the outstanding help of Matt and Libby from Herd and Hive we have currently one hive full of happy and hard-working bees.

We have 6 child beekeepers. We drew names of children who were interested in becoming beekeepers out of a hat from Year 4 to 6 in September 2024.

They are:

Freddie, Erin, Jake, Emma, Sophie and Michael.

They are supported by 3 novices but keen adult beekeepers who are:

Miss Brown, Mrs Shellis and Miss Barnes.


What kind of bees do we keep?

We have two colonies of honeybees at Thornton in Craven. In around three years we hope to get some honey from them. They are creating honey now but that is to feed themselves.


Where are the hives?

The hives are locked away from the main school field behind a tall hedge and gate. The hives are directed over a field at the back of school. This is the direction the bees go when they take flight.


How many bees are in one hive?

Honeybee colonies consist of a single queen, hundreds of male drones and 20,000 to 80,000 female worker bees. Each honeybee colony also consists of developing eggs, larvae and pupae. The number of individuals within a honeybee colony depends largely upon seasonal changes.


What is an apiary?

An apiary is a place where bees are kept; a collection of beehives.



Some facts about honeybees.


Honeybees dance to communicate

Honeybees have a unique way of communicating with each other. When they find a good source of food, they perform a dance that shows the direction and distance of the food source. This dance is called the "waggle dance" and it allows other bees in the colony to find the food source quickly.


Honeybees can fly up to 24 kilometres per hour

Honeybees are incredibly fast for their size. They can fly up to 24 kilometres per hour, which is much faster than most other insects. This allows them to quickly find food sources and return to their hive.


Honeybees have five eyes

Honeybees have two large compound eyes and three smaller simple eyes. The compound eyes are made up of thousands of individual lenses, which allows them to see in different directions at the same time. The simple eyes are used to detect changes in light and dark, which helps the bees navigate.


Honeybees can communicate with other bees using pheromones

In addition to their dances, honeybees also communicate with each other using pheromones. These chemical signals are used to alert other bees to danger, mark food sources, and regulate the behaviour of the colony.


Honeybees are essential for agriculture

Honeybees are critical for agriculture, as they are responsible for pollinating many of the crops that we rely on for food. Without honeybees, our food supply would be severely impacted.



© Copyright 2022–2024 Thornton-in-Craven CP School

School & College Websites by Schudio