SPRING has sprung and the bees are starting to buzz as first crops appear, which means it is time for Wilsford scientist Dr Mark Fife to get busy with his 9 hives.

He is a genetics scientist and has kept bees for 15 years - and now has about three quarters of a million of them, producing about 2000lbs of honey a year.

His fine-tuned apiary skills produce bumper crops of his own brand of Henge Honey, sold in village shops across Wiltshire.

“Over the winter, the queen and around 10,000 bees will be in the hive. They cluster round the queen to keep her warm and slowly move round the hive eating their winter stores of honey. In February, the queen will start laying and the worker bees keep her warm by vibrating their flight muscles, which generates the necessary amount of heat.”

He says the many types of wild flowers on nearby Salisbury plain are the secret to his success. “The bees flourish because of the diversity of wild flowers on the plain.”