The Weather at Stonyhurst

In the next four pages the difference between theory and practice is explored - for each of the four seasons!
In spite of all good intentions the main factor which affect the beekeeper and his honey crop is the weather.

An Observatory was first established at Stonyhurst College in 1838. A new Observatory was built in 1866 to act as an astronomical and a weather station which continues to this day. Temperature records started in 1846 and thus are one of the oldest continuous daily records in the world. In 2004, Stonyhurst replaced Ringway as one of four weather stations used by the Met Office to provide central England temperature data.
Direct information can be obtained from the Met Office website

Stonyhurst being in the Forest of Bowland lying just south of the Lake District is one of the wettest places in England. It has also one of the lowest sunshine records in England. The black bee therefore does not have the best conditions in which to work but has to cope with these weather extremes. In view of the fact that in the Stonyhurst area only wild flowers are available for forage, a large honey yield cannot be expected. The adaptability of the black bee enables it to cope with this relatively wet climate. This should come as no surprise considering that over the millennia the black bee will have seen much worse weather than what is experienced in this part of North West Lancashire - and has survived!

By way of interest some average weather statistics for Stonyhurst for the last 30 years are shown in the bar charts. These are compared with similar values for Hull in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Hull is about the same latitude as Stonyhurst but on the east coast of England which has a much drier and warmer climate. For this reason oil seed rape is a major crop grown in the East Riding but none is found near Stonyhurst.
Seasonal Temperatures are compared to those in Hull
Rainfall is compared with that in Hull
stonyhurst temperatures
Sunshine is compared with that in Hull
stonyhurst rainfall
stonyhurst sunshine
stonyhurst weather station
The Stonyhurst Weather Station
Next Page: The Annual Timetable
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