Now in its second season of beekeeping, the Whitworth Art Gallery is currently home to one beehive up on its roof. Part of the gallery’s Green policy, the gallery was originally proposed as a home for bees as part of creating a corridor with Manchester Art Gallery. However, due to the gallery’s closure for building work, the project was delayed until 2016.
The gallery’s current beehive is a “National” design, with the bees inside collected as a swarm from a local allotment. So far, no honey has been taken from them as they had just enough to over-winter from their first season. The bees are looked after by Patrick Osborn, the gallery’s Landscape & Sustainability Technician, aided by Anne French and Emma Brown, who plan on introducing a new “Top-Bar” hive in the future, in which the bees create their own comb instead of it being pre-formed for them.
Other Green policy projects for the Gallery include a 2000m2 perennial wild flower meadow and a 200m2 meadow of annual wild flower meadow, both located at the rear of the gallery in Whitworth Park and created as habitats of bio-diversity. You can find more information on the policy here.