22 April 2020

In an exciting development, we took delivery of three new beehives, which are now housed alongside our first hive that was introduced last month.  Our honey bee population is currently sitting at about 60,000, with each hive home to an astonishing 15,000 to 20,000 bees. 

Peter Rowland Group (PRG) chefs are behind the introduction of the hive, ably assisted by the Grounds and Gardens team and local beekeeper Colin Winterton. Colin, a second-generation beekeeper, installed the hives and delivered thousands of his best bees to start the Flemington colony.  

It's hoped that we will be able to extract our first batch of honey this month, using a system that will be set up in the PRG kitchens. The honey will be used in dishes across course including pastries and ice-creams, in a wonderful step towards limiting food miles and becoming self-sustainable. 

Colin tells us that each hive will eventually host more than 50,000 bees but only one Queen. We are hoping if our first hive is successful, we can introduce more hives and increase honey production.

Please note you will not notice an increase in bee activity at Flemington. Headquarters is already home to many native bees, and the new hive has been placed in a secluded location away from foot traffic. 

Honey Bee facts

  • Honey bees can travel at 60km/h when leaving a hive, so do not stand in front of a hive.
  • Flemington's hive is home to two breeds; the Italian Honey Bee and the Carniolan Bee.
  • Honey bees are important pollinators for flowers, fruits and vegetables. 
  • Honey bees — wild and domestic — perform about 80 per cent of all pollination worldwide