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Boughton Estate Honey Bee Conservation Project
Boughton Estate Honey Bee Conservation Project

Boughton Estate Honey Bee Conservation Project

Joe Ibbertson has been studying the Honey bees and other cavity nesting creatures at the Boughton Estate for the last 2 years. So far he has identified 51 nest sites with 49 active colonies. Boughton Estate is situated in Northamptonshire, has 4 managed forests covering approximately 3000 acres. Most nests are in Oak, Ash and Beech trees. Joe has found cavity volumes to be in the 15-30 litres range and is using endoscopic examinations and analysis of fallen/felled trees to gain more detail. His impressions from observations, are that the bees of Boughton prefer building comb <20 cm in width without ‘reinforcement’, mimicking common cavities with a size of this diameter. Wing morphology and genetic analysis on bees from 15 nests undertaken by Professor Grace McCormack and her team at Galway University, Ireland, has revealed a high propensity of Apis Mellifera Mellifera, the Black Bee. The aims of Joe’s project are to bring new information to forestry and land management, as well as educating Beekeepers of their intrinsic relationship with wild pollinators and how wild honey bees can improve colony health and sustainability through adaptation.




Boughton Estate


Start Date


Project Owner

Joe Ibbertson

Naturally Occupied Nests


Created  Hives



Semi Wild

Project Type

Monitoring 3000 acres

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