FROM an ‘un-bee-lievable’ rescue from a car windscreen to a much sought after des res in Clandeboye Estate, a 15,000 strong wild swarm have local beekeeper Phelim Breen to thank.
After their rather adventurous arrival at Lady Dufferin’s picturesque estate, the wild windscreen swarm of Bangor’s Prospect Road, are now part of Phelim’s 600,000 strong bee family in his 20 hives.
But these bees are in a hive like no other, for this swarm are now resident in the beautiful and private Bee Garden at Clandeboye House.
The walled Bee Garden takes its name from the eye catching central feature ‘The Thomas Jackson Bee House’ a miniature thatched bee cottage designed by 19th century architect Thomas Jackson.
Designed by Jackson in the 1880s, he also designed Altona House in Holywood, home to the Greeves family, it was later gifted to the Marchioness who restored it to its fabulous condition.
The Spectator was delighted to see first hand this former wild swarm settling into this five star bee accommodation, after reporting on their traumatic windscreen adventure back in May.
Phelim recalled the bees’ distressed state when he rescued them from the windscreen saying, “They were under a lot of stress, they had come from a wild colony and been living in a hollow tree trunk or a derelict house, but they had not been treated for varroa.”