Thursday, May 12, 2011

I need Bees

…. to pollinate my pyracantha, so the birds can feed later this year.


  1. Chris Gannaway5:21 pm, May 27, 2011

    Sorry for the late reply to this post, you have noted the massive decline in all bee species that is a national phenomenon.
    If you are just worried about the pollination of your pyracantha then there are alternatives. If in an exposed position the wind will help to pollinate, if sheltered try shaking the branches or brush over the flowers with a very soft brush.
    If you are now concerned about the bee decline the first thing to do is make the garden more welcome to bees go to this RHS link where there is a plant list and other information.
    In my own garden this year I have only spotted two different species of bumblebee and only one bumble bee nest; needless to say I have tried to make the garden as bee friendly as possible. So I am also seeing the decline where I would expect to see honey bees and solitary bees as well.
    Bumble bees and solitary bees need suitable nest sites, solitary bees nest is holes so a few 6mm holes in fence posts/blocks of wood are ok for some species set in a sunny spot. Bumble bees will use nest boxes only if a rodent has used it first (when my daughter kept Hamsters I used to use the old bedding in the bee boxes with some success) Bee queens need places to overwinter, people tidy up their gardens too much, most queens look for a dry burrow that maybe under some vegetation.
    If numbers do not build up naturally I can see the need to effectively have some form of captive breeding using wildlife garden sites.

  2. Yesterday, when at my precious allotment, I was welcoming the downpour, sheltering under my old brolly, having settled my back against the large composting bin, made of wooden pallet planks.
    Half a dozen bumble bees decided to let me know I was in the way in a very polite but positive way. They were not aggressive but they wanted me to go, which I did and, well relieved, they immediately entered their chosen dwelling: my well established compost, quite dry because I simply pile on spent vegetation, weeds and grasses and leave them to get on with it!
    It was a really interesting experience. These bees can stay there as long as they wish.