For some time now I have been interested in bee keeping. I remember as a child always seeing my grandad with a red blotchy nose. He was quite a frugal man and insisted on making his own bee keeping suit, resulting in having more bees inside the suit than outside!
Since I joined the WI, bee keeping has been mentioned several times. I would love to be able to have a go at bee keeping, but know it’s quite expensive to do it right. Several members of the WI have mentioned to me about a scheme called ‘Hire a hive’. This is where you basically host the hive and the work is done by the team from hire a hive. I still need to find out some more information as I think it might be expensive to do. I also know if you contact your local bee keeping society, they might have a bee keeper who is looking for a site for their hive. I’m not sure if our ‘garden’ would be suitable, as it’s more of a yard really! So I think I need to do a little work there first too!
There is a massive push in the bee keeping world to promote the importance of bees. I think many people are unaware as to how important the honey bee really is.
Honeybees are under threat worldwide because of virulent viruses against which they have no natural defences. Nearly all colonies in the wild have died out and without beekeepers to care for them, honeybees could disappear in a few years.
Please take time to read this interesting blog post from Brigit Strawbridge on how pesticides are killing our bees.
You can encourage more bees into your garden by planting bee friendly plants such as:
– Any from the the allium family
– all beans except French beans
– flowering herbs
– daisy-shaped flowers such as asters and sunflowers
– tall plants like hollyhocks, larkspur and foxgloves.
For a more comprehensive list of plants click here.
I will let you know if we get a hive. Although I’m good with the sewing machine, I think making my own suit like my grandad would definitely end in disaster, I’ll leave it to the experts!