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Jenifer Tucker's blog

Enjoy the colour yellow around the Sanctuary

Spring is definitely in the air and it’s wonderful to see so many visitors walking around the Sanctuary during the Easter holidays.

How many of you have been driving around and been dazzled fields of Oild Seed Rape (OSR) turning bright yellow? If you’ve visited The Donkey Sanctuary, you certainly will have noticed a patchwork of fields across the valley as you drive up Trow Hill towards the Sanctuary.

Patchwork fields of Oil Seed Rape (OSR) in flower

Bees and trees

Someone’s been visiting pussy willow... This young lady is one of the thousands of honey bees that live in harmony alongside our donkeys here at The Donkey Sanctuary. On a beautifully sunny and warm day earlier this week, this honey bee worker was laden with pollen, not only being carried on her back legs, but caught up in her body hairs too!

Honey bee loaded with willow pollen

World Wildlife Day - donkeys and our resident honey bees

With spring almost here, I thought you might like to know how Betty and her family (our resident colony of honey bees) have been doing since the autumn when they were fully stocked with around 40lb of honey stores. Most of this store was made up with thick sugar syrup made up with 2lb of white sugar to 1 pint water as the girls were a new colony and hadn’t grown in size to have a large enough workforce to gather as much as they needed for overwintering.

Honey bee on catkins

The hum of busy bees

Not many people know when they visit The Donkey Sanctuary here in Sidmouth that not only do we have fields of donkeys and mules grazing, but tucked away in a corner of a wild flower meadow we have a colony of honey bees who are also out foraging for food every day to take back to their beehive to add to their stores which they will rely on over the winter months.

Honey bee on flowering phacelia

15,000 new residents fly in

Finishing work on a Friday normally signals the start of the weekend but Friday just gone was different... I had a colony of bees to go and collect. I already have bees at the bottom of my own garden at home but today was the day to resurrect one of a pair of beehives here at The Donkey Sanctuary after the honey bee colony collapsed a couple of years ago. Bees are having a very hard time at the moment with the loss of wild habitat for them to forage, so we are doing our bit to help. By doing so, the bees will be assisting in the pollination of our fields and gardens.

Transferring nucleus of bees into beehive

Lasting tribute to the animals lost in war

Whilst the hustle and bustle of city life carried on in London, a crowd of representatives (both two-legged and four-legged) from animal charities gathered at the Animals in War monument in Park Lane on Friday to remember all the animals that have fallen during wartime and other conflicts.

With the crisp autumnal colours laying at the feet of the animal statues, Giles Webber, Operations Director of the Dogs Trust, welcomed everyone before the event started with a two minute silence followed by the reading of The Soldier's Kiss by Major Nicola Housby-Skeggs.

Poppy cross


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