Bee World, Quince Honey Farm

You’ve probably guessed that I am on holiday at the moment in Devon. So on our way to the beach yesterday, we decided to pay a visit to Bee World, South Molton. They have been producing honey at Quince Honey Farm for over 60 years, with 1500 hives out in the North Devon countryside. Bee World is the largest exhibition in the world dedicated to the lives and the produce of honey bees that is accessible to visitors without the need for protective equipment. At Bee World there are 18 colonies of bees to watch, some are in hives that open mechanically to reveal the bees busily going about their daily duties, and using the fixed magnifying glasses you can see the bees right up close. Other colonies have been set up in hollow tree trunks, a chimney, a miniature house, a roof, and even one in a bright red British pillar box! The static displays are very informative, and there are viewing galleries where you can look down on the various stages in the extraction and preparation of the honey. And when production is not taking place, there are videos explaining what would happen in the different areas. Newly opened this year is the Honeybee Defence Room, where you can learn about enemies of the bees, and explore such questions as why bees have such a nasty sting! (Well, they have pretty nasty emenies!) Happy Bee Playhive is an indoor soft play area for the kids, and there is a cafe where we had a good cup of coffee before going on to the beach. There was enough to interest adults, kids and all those in-between, and a good mix of the informative and the quirky. The shop also had a good range of souvenirs, not only all those things that the kids love, but lots of different bee associated products, candles, hair and beauty products, and of course plenty of honey.
We all enjoyed our visit. My niece Becky (16) said, “It was interesting, and I liked the way it was displayed, especially the post box.” Ryan (18) said, “I thought the different variations of the hives were very clever.” My nephew Jacob (13) added, “I liked the way the hives opened and it was pretty cool the way you could see inside.”

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