Godolphin House

Bob Black runs the B4 native black bee apiary at the National Trust property Godolphin House as part of his native bee project across 5 sites in West Cornwall. Bob returned to bee keeping after a 30 year gap, having kept bees in South Wales in the days before Varroa mites arrived in the UK. He has been working with Native Bees and breeding and selecting for native bee qualities on his sites and has been remarkably successful in a short space of time.  Bob holds the precept that it is important to work with Nature and Science in order to achieve a viable native population of Honey Bees. Simply intervening to counter the negative impact of Imported strains of bees and overcome some of the myths and traditions perpetuated by many commercial bee-keepers, looking to increase honey yield’s at the expense of the broader population of both feral and kept bees.


Below, Andrew Brown from B4 visited the site this year and guest bee-keepers from the West Cornwall BKA inspect hives of native bees. Check out the cornishbees webpages or email bob@cornishbees.com.

New signage was erected in collaboration with the National Trust in November and representatives from B4 and 3 of its partners were there to celebrate talks that will progress the concept of a NATIVE BEE HAVEN on the estate and surrounding land.

From Left to right:

Maggie Freegard ( B4 Group),Robert Sheppard ( BIPCO), Claire North (Visitor Services manager Godolphin), Juliet Turner (Gardner in Charge, Godolphin),Bob Black ( Cornish Bees and CBIBBG)

20120106_191508DSCF0079DSCF0116DSCF0117bees on frame smallerBob at alicefarm crop20120106_193706

Picture19Pigery post Jan 15

This is the latest Wing Morphometry result for the stock at Godolphin. The DNA analysis was about 94.5 % pure and this morphometry shows that the stocks there are mating with almost entirely native stock drones, which means its working well.

morphometry godolphin

2 thoughts on “Godolphin House

  1. Neil page

    Dear sirs we visited godolphin house today and read about your work with the cornish black bee. We are from suffolk and have been tying to achieve much the same thing accept limited for time. We also read about what is going on at heligan. I noticed your warre hive. This year i have experimented with using topbars but in national hives. I will also try to adopt the warre approach next year. Keep up the good work. Thankyou neil and sammy page

    1. Andrew Brown Post author

      Good Luck with the Warre, Im not having much success with it myself and will stick to moveable frame hives I think.


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