SWARMING bees that caused a buzz in the car park of Church House Oxford last year are thriving.

The bees were rescued by Martin Knops, a churchwarden at Holy Cross Church, Shipton, who happened to be visiting our offices. Martin, who is also a keen beekeeper, expertly removed the bees and rehoused them at Holy Cross allotment in Thrupp. Watch Martin visit the bees in the video below.

Martin Knops encouraging bees out of the tree at Church House Oxford.

Martin expects to be able to get honey from the bees soon. He is pleased that the hive contains larvae that are about to hatch. “There are also a few drone cells in there so I would expect new queen cells at some time, in which case I will split the hive before they swarm – I hope,” he says.

Bees are well known for being great for the environment. They feature in the Creationtide resources that are part of the Church of England’s national Environment Programme. The Creationtide action calendar states: “Bees are a key pollinator of food crops. Keen to learn more or even become a beekeeper? Contact the British Beekeepers Association, find other beekeepers locally through Hive Talking or if you’re in a city – contact Urban Bees.”

Honey, along with other produce from the allotment will be on sale at a Farmers’ Market on Bank Holiday Sunday, (August 26), 11am-2pm. The market will be followed by a canal-side service at Thrupp.

There will be an exhibition of artists who are buried in the graveyard, from Saturday, August 25 to Monday, August 27, 11am-4pm. Admission £2 with free tea, coffee and biscuits.

William Turner of Oxford is the best-known artist. William’s uncle lived at Shipton Manor and encouraged his nephew to design the current Victorian rebuild of the original mediaeval church. Theo Olive, who lived in retirement at Canal Lodge, opposite the church, taught art at Bretton Hall, Wakefield, when it was Leeds University’s art department and Bath School of Art at Corsham Court is another. The other two are Theo’s wife Meryl who was an excellent artist of plants and flowers and Joanna Isles Freeman, who did many book illustrations.

The exhibition is organised by the Friends of Holy Cross who have raised £20,000 since they were formed 18 months ago, through concerts, talks, beer and wine evenings, apple-pressing and quiz nights.