Hive of activity at RAF Coningsby

Working with colleagues from the Royal Air Force, our employees at RAF Coningsby have formed a bee colony at the Lincolnshire base, as part of a wellbeing and conservation garden for those on site to enjoy.
ConingsBEE
 
Our team will be looking after honeybees and will install six colonies by the end of summer, totalling around 60,000 bees. The Honeybee Project was created by BAE Systems engineer, Dorian Grassick, who is an active beekeeper outside of work.
 
The bees will produce honey which is required for feeding the colony through the colder winter months. They will also produce beeswax which can be used in in candle making and furniture restoration. Another resource the bees produce is Propolis, nicknamed bee glue. The bees use this to seal any draught in the hives and the glue has antibacterial properties which the bees use to fight any infections that may threaten the colony.
The Honeybee Project is not just about the wonderful bees themselves, it’s about preserving our environments and educating our community. It goes without saying that the environmental benefits of having these colonies is incredibly important. Another important benefit, and a particular passion of mine, is the health and wellbeing benefits that beekeeping provides. The growth of our apiary will allow the members of the beekeeping team to experience all aspects of beekeeping and conservation of their environment through the seasons.

Dorian Grassick, BAE Systems Engineer

Bees play a crucial role in the world’s ecosystems – the vast majority of plants we need for food rely on pollination, especially from bees. However, they are at risk. While the use of Neonicotinoids and other pesticides pose a threat to the honeybee, wasps are also a threat to colonies in late summer. Additionally, the Asian Hornet, an invasive species, preys on honeybees outside the colony so our beekeeping team at Coningsby will be working hard to build up the defences of the colonies to protect them. 
I am incredibly grateful for everything the Whole Force does here at RAF Coningsby, and in the wider sense of mental wellbeing and specifically the bees who are the newest addition to the Station. It is great to see how everyone has come together.

Group Captain Matt Peterson

 
Bee Squadron