Posted in Environment

An encounter with wild honey bees


There is a place near Ollerton, Nottinghamshire, called Thoresby Park, which includes the Victorian Thoresby Hall Hotel, a craft centre and pleasant riverside surroundings to meander around.

It was along this river that Simon spotted a tree with unusual residents – honey bees.

I tend to associate honey bees with bee keepers, who keep them in hives and collect honey. If I had the time and a bigger garden, it is something I would like to do. There are bee keeping courses but is there a point if, at the moment, it is just a little ‘Good Life’ daydream?

Now wild honey bees is something I hadn’t come across before and for some reason, when I saw these bees I thought of Winnie-the-Pooh and his love of the sweet stuff. Wasn’t there a story of him ‘stealing’ honey from wild bees?

honeycomb insect bees honey
(Not my picture but a photo by Pixabay onΒ 

Even where I was standing, I could feel one in my hair. Not a nice sensation (!) but I edged away carefully and thankfully the bee realised I was no threat and flew away.

From Larousse’s Pocket Guide Wildlife of Britain and Europe, it says: ‘Most honey bees live in artificial hives, but wild colonies live in hollow trees and similar places’.

The Woodland Trust adds that the honeybees have been domesticated for centuries and, although they are commonly found feeding on flowers, ‘ it is rare to find a truly wild colony’.

So we were rather lucky to see such a colony. 🐝🐝🐝







Interested in environmental issues, wildlife, spirituality, gardening, self-sufficiency and mini-adventures. There are two blogs, one is and the other, more recent one, is - ☺️

23 thoughts on “An encounter with wild honey bees

    1. We certainly do need our bees. It was a great privilege to see a colony but it would be better if it was a common occurrence. The population of wild bees has decreased because of pesticides in Britain too but I think people are realising the importance of bees so I am hopeful for the future.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. A colony of bees (not honey bees) moved into a bird box in my garden a couple of years ago. They would fly in and out. They lived there for a few months before leaving. I’ll have a look on your blog for your bee story. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  1. It is a rare find. So much of their potential habitat has been destroyed by building cities and housing developments. Then if they do take up residence in a building it is a challenge to find someone to rehome them so often the colony is destroyed.

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  2. I’ve never seen a wild colony before – that must have been amazing, even if they got in your hair. I wonder if the honey tastes different from wild colonies – I could do with some of theirs for brewing my mead! Great find, Clare. We do, indeed, need each and every bee. We had some kind of bee colony under my daughter’s playhouse years ago, but we left them alone to do their thing and they never hurt any of us. We felt quite honoured having them in our back garden. πŸ™‚

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    1. It was a little uncomfortable when they got in my hair but it was a privilege to see them. I had bees – not honey bees though, not sure what type they were – in one of my bird boxes one year. When I was younger I might have been more squeamish about them but now, like you, I feel honoured to see them. They’re very important little creatures.


    1. Yes, we were very lucky. I hadn’t realised how rare wild honey bees are these days so good to see them thriving there. It was nice to see the bees from a distance but I was glad the one in my hair ‘buzzed’ back to the hive! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. He didn’t want to give you a “beehive hairdo” – nice of him to behave! Yes, we are losing all our honey bees, mostly due to pesticide use … there are campaigns to have people stop spraying with pesticides to save the honeybees.

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