Downton Abbey upstairs bees | Vita Europe
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Downton Abbey upstairs bees

Heaven's Gate with Highclere Castle, the setting for Downton Abbey, far below in the background.

Heaven’s Gate with Highclere Castle, the setting for Downton Abbey, far below in the background.

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High above Highclere Castle, the setting for the world-famous TV series Downton Abbeyis Heaven’s Gate, a folly built in 1737.

The deliberately pointless structure has acquired a use — it’s now home to a colony of honeybees.

They have found a cavity in the south-facing wall and taken up residence – definitely Upstairs rather than Downstairs honeybees.

I noticed these only because I stopped underneath the arch to admire the view yesterday and heard a rather familiar sound.

I’m not quite sure how these bees should be treated for varroa. Perhaps some sort of Dumb Waiter Lift needs to be installed to deliver the Apiguard trays.

Does anyone know of other odd but appropriate locations for bees? There must be lots.

Turlough, Vita’s Guest Beekeeper Blogger

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