Thursday 27 June 2013

Bee House

The garden is buzzing. My fears for the bee population and consequences for our fruit and vegetable harvest seem unfounded.

After the late spring we've had some warm, even hot, days followed by rain with the result that everything is over-producing to catch up. The garden looks like a jungle. Loads of foliage, flowers - and weeds!

Of necessity and by choice our garden is pretty wild, albeit based on a great design by the previous owners. We have a lot of comfrey which grows like crazy and the bees love. I let some grow at the edges of the vegetable beds to attract the bees who hopefully will move on to the beans and raspberries.

I'm not really fussed what insects do the pollination. Two years ago we had a wasps nest in the ground behind the greenhous and they did a sterling job with the raspberries and currants. We were given an insect house which is basically a bunch of hollow bamboo canes in a wooden box and we placed it in a conifer hedge facing south east. We've noticed some activity in previous years with the ends of the bamboo filled with wax, but this year it's home to small bees. Fascinating to watch them come and go, laying down wax and sealing the tubes.

Bee house - bees were shy when I took this photo but are busy and buzzing this morning.

I don't know where the nearest conventional bee hives are. We certainly rely on a variety of types of bees as well as other insects for pollination and I guess I don't mind who gets the job done. 


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