18.10.2016 - Severalls Hospital is a 'hive of activity'

Laying derelict for almost 20 years after closing its doors, Severalls Hospital, Colchester, is currently undergoing major demolition works to the decaying shell that still remains.

The 300-acre site, which was built in May 1913 to accommodate at least 2,000 patients, was shut down in the early 1990s before a separate section for the elderly closed in March 1997.

The dilapidated site, originally designed as a mental health hospital, has since fallen into an extreme state of disrepair, and has attracted interest surrounding paranormal activity and ghost sightings.

However, it would appear that these aren’t the only things lurking within the old buildings. Construction business, Mick George Ltd who are completing the demolition works at the hospital has uncovered a small colony of European Honey Bee’s.

The European Honey Bee is one of the first domesticated insects, and is the primary species maintained by beekeepers to this day for both its honey and pollination services, maintaining its status as one of the single most important pollinators for agriculture globally.

Traditionally this species is found in large ‘colonies’ which would explain the 3,000 bees that were found and have since been safely re-homed. In keeping with its name, taken from the latin term ‘Apis Mellifera’, large amounts of honey was detected, which would match the species tendency to produce a large quantity of honey for storage over the winter.

Jon Stump, Finance Director at Mick George Ltd commented: ‘’The nature of the environments that we complete work, means we often encounter unusual variables. Nature, wildlife and habitats is something that are particularly commonplace, so we are well versed in the best action required. Prior to commencing a project, we often complete ecological studies to determine the likelihood of such frequencies.’’

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