Observational Beehive

Please note, work is currently being undertaken on the beehive, so we do not have bees in residence currently. We will update this page with further information on when the bees will return. Apologies for any inconvenience.

Our Observational Beehive lets visitors glimpse the inner workings of a busy hive throughout the year.

The hive is home to several hundred honey bees. Most of them are female worker bees who spend their first few weeks cleaning; feeding the bee larvae, male drones and the queen bee; building the honeycomb; and maintaining the temperature of the hive.

Older worker bees collect pollen and nectar for the hive, pollenating plants as they go from flower to flower. Pollen provides protein for developing bee larvae and nectar is turned into honey, an energy-rich food, which is stored in the hive.

Our bees reach the outside through a connecting tunnel leading to the garden of the museum. The bees forage among the bee-friendly plants in the garden, but may travel further – up to five miles.

Sharp-eyed visitors may be able to spot a yellow beehive shape high on the rear wall of the museum – where bees enter and exit the hive.

More information can be seen around the hive, as well as a screen showing live footage of bees entering and exiting.