• Wiltshire Wildlife

Solar bees for solar farms

Updated: May 10, 2019

We have been selected as one of just four solar farms in the country to take part in an exciting new beekeeping project. WWCE will receive two innovative "thermosolar" beehives to place on our solar array at Chelworth.

The thermosolar hive channels solar energy to regulate the temperature inside the hive and treat beehives for varroa without the use of chemicals. The varroa mite is a parasitic insect that lives inside the beehive. It's young feed on bee larvae as they develop, which can lead to malformation of the bees and the transmission of bee diseases. Current commercial beekeeping practice involves treating hives with chemicals to cleanse it of mites.

However, because mites survive in a temperature range that is just below that of bees, by controlling the hive temperature, thermosolar hives can target the mites and cause minimal disruption to the bees.

The Solar Bee project, run by the Naturesave Trust, will will help to establish the effectiveness of these hives in protecting bees from the varroa mite as well as introducing new honeybee colonies to the site. We will also be working with WWT to develop additional habitat for other natural pollinators including ground-nesting bees.

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