Visitors to Hampton School will see over 1000 boys on their visit. What they won’t see, is that for every boy, there are 100 black and yellow bees swarming away at the back of the school playing fields. Since Beekeeping Club began in 2016, its members have battled through a half-hive exodus, multiple queen bee abdications and, until recently, a sour honey drought. Today, both club and bees are thriving. 

It wasn’t just a sweet tooth that was behind the beekeeping initiative. There were regular reports showing that bees are a threatened group of species, whose contribution to local ecosystems could not be overstated, so we decided it was our duty to provide them with a stable home. Skilled members of the newly formed Beekeeping Club constructed two beehives, each housing 50,000 bees. These have since been cared for by Mr Langton (Head of Biology), and the boys of the Beekeeping Club, which is open to all ages, and meets weekly to attend to their 100,000 busy clients.

It is inspiring to hear the boys speak about the wonders of their hives. Perhaps the most impressive practice of our bees is the extraordinary ‘Waggle Dance’. This is where a member of the hive uses specific movements to signal the angle and distance to a nearby source of nectar. The duration of the dance indicates the distance, and the angle at which the dance is performed tells the rest of the worker bees the direction of the nectar in relation to the sun. This fascinating method of communication is extremely accurate, giving our bees the ability to signal directions to a nectar source potentially several kilometres away. Overall, the club takes pride in the responsibility of caring for such incredible insects, and aims to continue their work through the years to come.  And with a little bit of good management and luck, we could be eating Hampton Honey some time soon.

Reporter: Nick Brittin

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