Cranfield University Honey Harvest  Image: Cranfield University

Annual honey harvest at Cranfield University

The resident bees at Cranfield University have once again been busy making honey over the summer months.

The University’s four hives contain an estimated 240,000 bees, are positioned within a woodland area of the campus. They are managed by groundskeepers, Nurture.

Cranfield staff and students attended the Honey Harvesting Experience, during which they learnt about the ‘capping’, ‘spinning’ and ‘pouring’ of the honey. Altogether, over 100 jars of artisan honey were produced across the season.

Gareth Ellis, Energy & Environment Manager at Cranfield, said:

“It is great to see our colleagues getting involved with the honey harvest for a second year running; a fantastic sign that the colonies are well-established and healthy.

“The honey harvest is one of many activities we co-ordinated for this year’s ‘Green Week’, in addition to biodiversity walks, launching the Small Action Big Impact campaign and an introduction to Cranfield’s Living Laboratory.”

Cranfield University Honey Harvest Image: Cranfield University

Each colony is made up of a queen bee, female workers and male drones. Each have very specific tasks to be undertaken within the hive, depending on their age.

A bee’s life cycle is approximately 40 days and no young are raised over the winter months. So over the winter the numbers will drop within the hives to around 5,000.