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Inside the buzz going on at Abberton Reservoir in Essex

08 Aug Inside the buzz going on at Abberton Reservoir in Essex

There’s a buzz going on at Abberton Reservoir in Essex, as Britain’s black honey bees, a species which was once thought to be extinct, are being re-introduced to the area.

Essex & Suffolk Water is working in partnership with the Essex Wildlife Trust and the Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders Association (BIBBA) on an innovative project to establish native black bees at the reservoir. They are also aiming to establish colonies in the surrounding area to develop a thriving sustainable population of native bees.

The black honey bee was thought to have been completely wiped out in the early 1900s, but it has recently been discovered that they still exist in parts of the UK.

Three hives have been introduced at Abberton Reservoir which will be populated with native black queen bees obtained from a reputable source. These mother queens will produce more native queen bees, which will in turn be provided to local beekeepers so that colonies can be established in the surrounding area.

Abberton Reservoir is well situated to support this project as it is far enough away from other hives to prevent inter-breeding with other non-native bees, which will ensure the purity of the bees being bred.