Manor Fields has its own hives, stocked with more than 20,000 bees and producing enough honey for it to be sold under the estate’s own label.
The bees, whose hives ares on the roof of garages behind Glenalmond and Selwyn houses, were introduced to the estate during 2015 and are tended by Steve Derry, a leading member of the Wimbledon Beekeepers’ Association, who is pictured above inspecting the bees.
The hives help to support bees in the area at a time when honey bees are under threat from pesticides, introduced diseases and human activity. Bees visit flowers to collect nectar and pollen for food for themselves and the larvae in their hives or nests. By moving from flower to flower, they pollinate many plants in gardens and in the wild.
Bees don’t normally trouble people unless the people bother the bees and don’t usually go into houses but prefer to seek outdoor places where they can forage. Many people mistake wasps and bumble bees for honey bees. Wasps sting but bumble bees do so only as a last resort when threatened, as they die as soon as they have left their sting.
■ If you would like to join Steve on his weekly inspections of the hives, telephone the estate office on 020 8788 1017 or email email@example.com