Watch out for new campaigns by environmental charities this year such as Friends of the Earth and Sustain to encourage more forage planting in London to cope with increasing demand as many people have taken up beekeeping and now there is a need to balance this with adequate pollen and nectar supplies. The record rain in June has not helped bees this year, but after being through this grim period they are now making up for lost time and we are noticing stored honey levels rise on the hives in the last week of June onwards.
In the summer Capital Bee gets a lot of calls about bees in compost heaps, as the weather is warmer and people are turning them over. These are usually ground dwelling bumble bees, not honey bees. If you discover them in your compost, leave them until winter when they may well have vacated it - or if you must move the nest, move it close by and as intact as possible to a place that is unlikely to be disturbed. They like being under dry grass and leaf heaps.
If you would like to help bees by planting bee friendly plants, bear in mind they like purple flowers which are not too long, so they can reach the nectar. Here's a list of some plants bees particularly like:
- lime trees
- chestnut trees
- rock rose
- birds foot trefoil
- raspberry flowers
- apple trees
A year round flowering garden is best, as there are particular nectar dearths early in the year and June and September, so plants flowering then are invaluable.
Camilla Goddard, Director
68 St Asaph Road
Tel: 0207 639 6581 Mob: 07984682417