With all of the focus on honeybees, it's easy to forget all of the other pollinators that are also important to our food supplies and under the same threats from intensive farming and pesticides.
At this time of the year we are all beginning to focus on our gardens and what to plant. We can all help by choosing pollinator friendly plants. The link to Bee Friendly Zones on the left of the page takes you to a site that is rich in resources, like lists of garden flowers, wild flowers, shrubs, herbs & trees that bees will feed on. Most are good for other pollinators too. For instance, if you plant comfrey the nectar is not readily available to honeybees or bumble bees, but bumble bees will chew a small hole into the base of the flower to feed. Honeybees cannot chew through the flower, but will find the holes made by bumblebees and use it to collect the nectar!
I had great success last year with a raised bed dedicated to phacelia, corn flowers and poppys. The hum from that bed could be heard from 20 feet away!
Bees feeding on Phacelia
There is also thyme growing between crazy paving. Bees love th thyme, it smells great as you walk over it and you can use it in the kitchen!
Thursday, 5 April 2012
I am lucky enough to have been offered voluntary redundancy and early retirement from my employer. My only concern is what to do with myself after retirement! She Who Must Be Obeyed is sure to develop long lists of things that need to be done, but I aim to pace myself with chores so that I can spend some time enjoying doing what I enjoy!
One idea is to get a dog. That will cover a few bases - walking, exercise and love of dogs!
I'd also like to encourage others into Natural Beekeeping. One obstacle I've heard from a few people is that they cannot build a top-bar hive. Whether it's a lack of time, tools or ability is irrelevant. I enjoy building hive, so topbarbeehive.co.uk is the result. This is certainly not a get rich plan: just compare prices on the internet! I aim to cover my expenses (I hope!) and have a little beer money left over.
The intention is to build the hive that you want, not have a "one size fits all" hive. I'm happy to discuss what you want, what the bees need and what I can do. I will not be cutting any wood until I have an order, so the result should be completely to the specification that we agree.