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Doddington Community Beehives


In 2021, after being awarded a Community Chest grant from Cramlington Town Council, the Friends of Doddington Wood were able to purchase two beehives and two bee colonies. They arrived in June of that same year and have provided a great learning curve for our beekeepers! Our designated beekeepers had the great privilege of being guided through their first season and beyond, by two local veteran beekeepers.

Initially the beehives were housed at Manor Walks Shopping Centre, as part of their green initiatives, but during the summer of 2022, they were moved a little down the road to one of the allotments in Nelson Village. The Town Council generously offered the group an unused corner of the allotment as a base for the community apiary and its a fantastic set up for the bees and for the allotmenteers who can now boast their own in house pollinators.

In the late Spring of 2022, the two hives began to grow and the number of bees increased exponentially; during the height of Spring and early Summer, there can be as many as 60,000 bees in a single hive! This lead to both hives swarming, a naturally occurring reproduction process where the Queen bee leaves the hive with almost half of the colony, leaving the remaining bees to build up the hive and to create a new Queen. This happened four times! The group kept two of the swarms, and the other two were captured by other local beekeepers. So the two hives very quickly became four!

At the moment we have three colonies, and are likely to end 2022 with two, which is just the nature of beekeeping.

This year our beekeepers were also able to harvest their very first honey crop, which they spun from the frames by hand. The honey was then bottled and distributed amongst members and volunteers. We get asked quite often if we have plans to sell our honey, but at the moment due to regulations we don't have any plans to do so.


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