Art exhibition at National Fruit Collection highlights importance of bees in food production

An artistic exhibition on bees is being held at the National Fruit Collection at Brogdale in Faversham, Kent.

Alec Findlay, an established artist, poet and publisher, has helped Brogdale put together the collection to encourage public interest in bees and highlight their importance to fruit and food production.

He has painted traditional beehives in a spectrum of colours to match the blossom, fruit and leaf colours of specific varieties in the National Fruit Collection.

Bee poetry has also been stencilled on the sides of the hives and bee-nests hung among the trees.

The bee-nests are made from books about bees and offer a vital refuge for solitary bees. 

Bernie Cranfield, manager of Brogdale Collections, said: "We are absolutely delighted to play a part in raising awareness of the importance of bees to food and farming."

"It all supports our wider efforts to inform the public about the National Fruit Collection and its importance as a scientific resource which is open to the public."

Bees continue to play a vital role in pollinating the National Fruit Collection and many other food crops – including peas, beans, tomatoes and squashes.

It is estimated it would cost British farmers at least £1.8 billion a year to pollinate crops by hand.

The National Fruit Collection is the largest collection of fruit in the world - holding thousands of varieties of apples, pears, cherries, plums and other bush nuts and fruits.

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