At the Fruit Routes summer event I was able to visit the bees on campus. Equipped with protective clothing and gloves I was standing in the middle of hundreds of bees swarming out of their beehive.
Did you know that there are different kinds of honey bees? Most of them are called ‘worker bees’ – they only live for six weeks. During this time they work themselves to death while producing around two teaspoons of honey.
It is fascinating to see these small animals work so hard without rest. Even with all of us standing around in their way, looking at how they live, they still got on with their work! Thankfully, I can report the only person who got stung was the beekeeper! But to be fair, she was the one getting the closest by showing us the honeycombs.
The bees are just one part of the work the Fruit Routes do. As their name suggests they also plant fruit trees on campus and care for them. Their intention is to plant along footpaths across the university campus, enabling students and staff to harvest and eat fresh fruit sustainably. From apples, pears, cherries and plums to hazelnuts and almonds.
In their recipes they also show how the self grown fruits can be processed. Have a go at this homemade elderflower cordial!