Residents at a Swadlincote care home have welcomed their new neighbours, two colonies of honeybees, which arrived last week.
The two established beehives, containing thousands of bees, have moved into the gardens at Cadley Hill View, which opened in November, as part of a gardening project with Swadlincote in Bloom and residents have been busy preparing for their arrival.
Home Manager, David Godrich, said:
“One of our residents, Jean Parks, is a very keen gardener and went along to the Swadlincote in Bloom committee meeting in February with fellow resident, Marie Thompson, and our activities co-ordinator, Diane Webster. One of the items on the agenda was to find a new home for the beehives within the local community, where more people could enjoy them, and we believed Cadley Hill View would make the perfect home.”
Staff and residents were so excited about the arrival of the bees that they decided to create a Bee Happy theme for the care home. Local bee farmer, David McDowell, who has been a beekeeper for over 30 years, worked with caretaker, David Towle, and care home resident, Bob Watson, along with Swadlincote in Bloom, to find the perfect spot and they transformed the area into a sanctuary for the bees, planting trees, laying slabs and erecting fences.
David Godrich continued:
“All our residents have really got behind our Bee Happy project. Some have been preparing the gardens and others have been knitting bees and making Bee Happy signs for the care home. It has been a wonderful team effort. We have even created a special bee mascot which is going to be looked after by the children at St. Edwards Catholic School.
“We chose the location of the hives carefully so that our residents can enjoy watching the bees from several viewpoints inside the care home. The bees will be smoked every ten days by the bee farmer so residents and members of the community will be able to come along and watch. The bee farmer will also host regular talks for our residents, and the local community, to teach them all about the bees and how vital they are for the environment and local biodiversity.
“We have lots of plans to develop this area even further by creating an insect hotel and we will also be organising some bee activities at our summer fair later this month.”
Cadley Hill View, on Darklands Road in Swadlincote, is a purpose-built, luxury residential and dementia care home operated by Ideal Carehomes.