In pictures: Bees make their home at Rufford Old Hall
Look who's been 'buzzy' recently! As part of the BBC's Bee Part Of It campaign, BBC Lancashire has been given a bee hive by the National Trust at Rufford Old Hall - and the bees have just moved in!
Our 15,000-ish bees will be cared for by our 'bee buddies' Bill Patterson and Caroline McKenzie from Fulwood, who have been breeding bees for five years
Bill and Caroline brought a five frame nucleus of bees with a new-laying queen to the hive. This means there are eggs, babies and lots of young bees
Bees are actually very quiet, but sometimes one might get harmed when they're being moved, and that's where the smoker comes in. When a bee dies it releases a pheromone and the smoke helps to cover it up, so the rest of the colony won't get upset
Even though you might expect the bees to erupt from the box in a big cloud, they're actually happy to wander around on the frame because they're so intent on what they're doing
"There's one or two flying, but that's to be expected... they're interested in what's happening," says Caroline
The bees were moved from a small box into the full-size hive, which Bill is building here. It's very important that the queen is brought across to the new hive so all the other bees will follow her
The queen is very different from the other bees, she's much longer and lives her life in the dark, so as soon as the box is opened, she will try to hide from it
The bees will fly off to forage for food in a three mile area around their new hive, and the area provides a good diversity of plants
David Roberts, head gardener at Rufford Old Hall is looking forward to keeping a watchful eye over the new arrivals: "I've got a real love for bees... It's great to be in the outdoors, experiencing wildlife and how it interacts with each other."
July 2010: Actress Carol Drinkwater pays the BBC Lancashire bees a visit