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Trees 4 Bees flowering early

 

Limes (Tilia europaea) , sweet chestnuts (Castanea sativa) and the glorious Indian Bean Tree (Catalpa bignonioides) all produce bounteous amounts of nectar during the summer for bees to turn into honey in our towns and cities. air max soldes pas cher Mature lime trees, in particular, which have been planted in huge numbers in London parks and streets, with their tiny white flowers, are the main source of honey for the capital’s honeybees, producing a delicious light honey.

This summer, with the extreme heat and drought conditions the trees have all flowered much earlier than usual. nike air max pas cher The limes were out by mid June, if not earlier in some locations. Sweet chestnuts, to my surprise where not long behind, with their dramatic spindly, long white flowers blooming by the end of the month. nike air max 95 And I nearly fell of my bike on the 26 June when the magnificent Indian Bee Tree that I pass on my way to work every day was in its full glory – displaying its enormous white blooms which usually don’t appear until early August!!! You don’t see many of them in London, but they usually stand out in late summer with their eye-catching display when other trees have long-finished flowering.

But not this year, coming out at a similar time as the others. Fjallraven Kanken Sale Is this because they are stressed by the lack of rain and need to flower quickly to produce seed? As the name of the Indian Bean Tree suggests, its seeds are contained in long bean pods which hang from the tree after it’s flowers have been pollinated.

Whatever the reason for the early show of flowers, it unfortunately means the Urban Bees Trees for Bees guide is hopelessly out this year with the month the trees are flowering. cheap fjallraven kanken More concerning, it means that there won’t be any late summer forage for bees if the trees have all flowered by July.

EU Pollinators initiative

Urban Bees went to Brussels last month to take part in a consultation workshop on the EU’s proposed initiative for pollinators. Fjallraven Kanken Big Backpack With a reported dramatic decline in insects leading to warnings of ‘ecological Armageddon’ any initiative can’t come soon enough.

Our session – attended by NGOs, academics and policy makers – looked at how to best protect pollinators in urban areas. We introduced participants to our educational work in London, where we are raising awareness about the importance of improving forage and habitat for all bees and other pollinators through ‘meet the honeybee’ lunchtime classes, bee spotter sessions and our King’s Cross Bee App.

We suggested the best approach the EU could take would be to:

  • regulate that all new developments in cities must be pollinator-friendly with living roofs and parks and green spaces that are good for pollinators as well as for people
  • ban the sale and use of pesticides and weed killers.

Policy makers made it clear that the EU can’t legislate on city developments as this is up to individual member states. nike x fragment They also said the EU doesn’t ban things, which seemed odd as they are about to introduce a field ban neonicotinoids across the EU.

Ten years ago, when honeybees started to vanish in alarming numbers in the US mainly due to what was dubbed Colony Collapse Disorder, any pesticide ban was completely unthinkable. Mochilas Fjallraven Kanken No.2 Pesticides were dismissed by most scientist and politicians as having little to do with the problem. Conveniently for the manufacturers no independent testing was done at that time, and the public was unaware of all of this. basket nike But that soon changed. nike air presto The mobilisation of millions of concerned people across the globe, together with the potentially huge economic impact of bee losses on the food supply, led governments to invest in independent research and take the protection of bees – honeybees in particular – seriously. nike internationalist soldes A temporary ban on neonics followed in 2013 after plenty of research showing they were part of the problem and pressure on politicians from NGOs from Friends of the Earth to 38 Degrees, and their millions of members to ‘save the bees’. Fjallraven Kanken Mini Now it’s even clearer that they are a major problem for bees’ health a total field ban looks likely.

So the moral of the story is to exert pressure and don’t give up until the politicians start to listen.

Other good suggestions to come out of the workshop included introducing:

  • an EU award like the Blue Flag scheme for clean beaches for pollinator-friendly spaces
  • a kitemark like FairTrade for food manufacturers and their suppliers that support pollinators.

To have your say on the public consultation on the EU initiative for pollinators which ends on Thursday 5 April.

Urban Bees in 2017

Here’s my brief look back at the year’s highlights for Urban Bees.

Airbnb Bee Tour

While the honey bees were still tucked up in their hives during winter, people were coming on the Airbnb bee tour of King’s Cross, getting to exploring London Wildlife Trust’s Camley Street Nature Park and the Skip Garden and to taste delicious honeys from across the capital.

Their numbers increased throughout the year, with more than 100 in total enjoying the tour from all over the globe, as far as Australia and China to much closer to home in London. Time Out even made a short film. Fjallraven Kanken Big Backpack With an average 4.9 satisfaction rating (out of 5), everyone had a fantastic time and it was great for us to be able to spread the word about how to help all bees in urban environments across the world.

Bumblebees and solitary bees

With the arrival of spring we ensured the Savills planters on a roof at 111 Buckingham Palace Road were full of early flowering crocuses, wallflowers, primroses and heathers for any queen bumblebees venturing out on mild days in search of food.

We also looked out solitary bees, with managed bee hotels on the Savills roof and on the Weils roof terrace off Fleet Street. And we ran a DIY bee hotel workshop for pupils at Friars Primary School in Southwark where Weils’ staff volunteer. The 30 plus pupils also got to learn how to identify bees using our bee spotter guide on the terrace.

The Museum of London also hosted an Urban Bees bee hotel workshop as part of its sustainable cities festival.

Honeybees

We continued to work with clients such as Grosvenor estates and Canada House, where we introduced beekeeping to the new high commissioner’s husband. nike air tn Other existing clients, included KPMG in Canary Wharf, where our weekly ‘meet the bee’ sessions for staff during the summer continue to be oversubscribed. For those who didn’t get a peek at the hives this year we ran some very popular lunch ‘n’ learn sessions about bees and forage and gave away wild flower seeds and Urban Bees leaflets on the best forage to plant for bees.

Among our exciting new clients were Coutts the bank who asked us to install and maintain a number of hives on its amazing Skyline garden above the Strand where executive chef, Peter Fiori has been growing exotic fruits and vegetables for a few years. Mochilas Kanken Big Now many of those plants will be pollinated by their own bees which are also producing exclusive honey for the bank’s executive restaurant.

We will be working with a number of new companies in 2018, raising awareness about the importance of making our cities more bee-friendly.

KXBeetrail

One of the most exciting events of the year, was recognition for The Honey Club King’s Cross Bee Trail App. Now in its third year, the App won a Defra Bees’ Needs Award for raising awareness about bees and pollination. nike air max thea What was particularly gratifying about being nominated by our peers and winning the government award in 2017 was that it had been challenging to adapt and relaunch the App this year. The App designers, Wolff Olins,had moved from King’s Cross at the end of 2016 and so it was left to the remaining two members of the Honey Club (youth charity, Global Generation, and Urban Bees) to continue the work with little experience of designing and building Apps. nike air max femme After many hiccups along the way, it was eventually launched just in time for the summer holidays and was loved by everyone who downloaded it and got to count bees, explored the area, and got money off at participating restaurants and cafes along the way. Thanks again to everyone who made it happen, especially Nicole at Global Generation, Des Smith at Willbery Landscapes and Penny Metal, bee photographer extraordinaire (all pictured above).

Other pollinators

Urban Bees was delighted to be able to support Penny’s amazing book, Insectinside – incredible photographs and wry observations of the hundreds of insect species in her local park.

Bees in winter

I’ve not known a whole month like January when woke up to a carpet of hard frost in the back garden every day and had to put on five layers, including leggings under my jeans and two pairs of socks to cycle the 20 mins to work in central London! The temperature has hovered around 5 C. So did the bees cope? Well actually this is better for them, than a mild winter when they’re out flying and using up their energy reserves. Honeybees huddle in their hive, keeping it nice and toasty by using their bodies and wings to create a shivering sensation that heats them and their home. Fjallraven Kanken Classic (Rather like penguins on the ice). nike x fragment The cluster of some 10,000 worker bees and their queen will eat the honey left by the beekeeper. nike blazer That’s fine if they’ve enough stores and it’s easy to get to it. nike air max tn Problems can occur if it’s a mild winter when they need to eat more honey to fuel their flights outside the hive looking for the very few plants that are flowering.

FEEDING HONEYBEES FONDANT

Given the mild December, many beekeepers (even the ones like us that left each hive a super of honey) were out by mid January putting some bakers’ fondant on the top of their hives for the bees to eat if they were hungry.

For bumblebees, the cold weather is also good. nike air huarache Only the queen is alive at this time of year and she’ll be tucked away in a nest – probably an old mouse hole, or a compost bin, or under a pile of untouched leaves – ready to come out when it gets warmer. As long as she’s not disturbed, she’ll be just fine.

As for the cavity-nesting solitary bees that lay their eggs in hollow stems, or our man-made bee hotels, their babies spend the winter in a cosy cocoon before they emerge in the spring as adult bees. air max thea Here there’s just one tube in this cylindrical bee hotel that contains eggs. It’s the one you can see that has been sealed with mud.

 

 

FEEDING BEES EARLY POLLEN AND NECTAR

We can’t feed wild bees during the winter, but what we can do is think about how to feed them when they start flying by planting early forage, like this Sweet Box (Sarcococca), which smells devine and was covered in honeybees foraging for pollen and nectar _ in preference to the Fondant – when the sun came out on Friday.

DIY Bee Hotel

Now’s the ideal time to make a bee hotel for solitary bees. nike free pas chers Wooden bee hotels are easy to make if you’re good with a saw and nails (which I’m not). You can also buy them in garden centres. nike air huarache avis But it’s easy to make a more simple type of bee hotel with an old water bottle.

There are more than 200 different species of solitary bees. All are vital pollinators. Many are cavity nesting, so they need dark holes in which to lay their eggs in the spring onwards. nike air presto pas cher They nest alone, but often next door to each. They rarely sting. Red mason bees (Osmia bicornis), blue mason bees (Osmia caerulescens) and Leafcutter bees (Megachile centuncularis) are the most common solitary bees you’ll be helping by putting up a bee hotel.

For our simple bee hotel, you’ll need String, or garden twine; a plastic drinks bottle; bamboo tubes between 4mm to 10mm, but mainly 7-8mm in diameter; a scalpel; a small hack saw if you’re going to cut the bamboo (You can buy it pre-cut here). It takes a long time to saw 50 pieces of bamboo!

How to make your solitary bee hotel Cut off the neck off the bottle with the scalpel so it measures about 16cm long. Make two small holes equal distance apart along the length of the plastic bottle. Thread the twine through allowing enough length to make a loop for hanging up. If you are cutting the bamboo, use a hack saw and cut to 15 cm. Avoid any nodules. Make sure the bamboo canes are hollow throughout including both ends.

Tightly pack your 15 cm tubes into the plastic bottle (you want them to be protected from the rain so ensure they’re not sticking out), so that they don’t fall out. You many need to push some smaller twigs or plant stems in between the tubes to wedge them in.

Where to locate your bee hotel A warm wall (south or south west facing), sheltered from the wind, 1 metre or more, off the ground. nike air max pas cher You don’t want the hotels to be shaded by overhanging trees or other vegetation, or to sway around. Suspend it with a slight tilt so the rain runs off the bottle and not into the open tubes. I’ve wedged this one into some trellis and attached the twine to a branch above.

 

We also use ready-made cylindrical bee hotels, which come with cardboard tubes lined with paper. Here, we have attached a number under the eaves of our south facing garden shed. We’ve also located them on corporate roof terraces alongside bee-friendly flowers.

When to put it up End of March or early April, then you will hopefully attract solitary bees that are newly emerged, have mated and are looking for somewhere to lay their eggs, like this one in the photo.

Bed and Breakfast Solitary bees are more likely to check-in to your hotel if there’s also food and drink. So ensure you grow some of the following plants in spring/early summer:

  • forget-me-not (Mysotis)
  • wallflowers (Erisymum)
  • green alkanet (Pentaglottis)
  • Pieris japonica
  • Culinary herbs including rosemary, thyme, oregano, horehound (Marrubium vulgare)
  • Cranesbill geraniums, such as Rozanne.
  • Bird’s foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) and St John’s Wort (Hypericum) and roses, for leafcutter bees which like to cut discs from their leaves of roses to make their nests.

You also need to leave some bare areas of soil, as red and blue mason bees will use this to make the nest, and a regularly topped up saucer/basin of water with stones in it that the bees can balance on while taking a drink. Bees can’t swim.

How do I know if my bee hotel is being used? When bees have laid their eggs in a tube, they will seal it with either mud or leaves. These tubes can be left out over winter and new bees should emerge the following spring. nike air max 2015 Looks like only one room in this bee hotel has been occupied so far.

Be patient. It may take some time for bees to know the bee hotel is there. The more bee-friendly flowers you grow the more likely you are to attract them.

Hopefully next spring you may see solitary bees emerging through the sealed mud like this little fellow.

2017 – Bee London

January is always a good time of year to look back at what Urban Bees has been doing over the last 12 months and to anticipate the coming spring.

So, air max thea blanche looking back to 2016, there were three main themes to our work:

  • raising awareness about bees and forage through lunch ‘n’ learn workshops, talks with beekeeper friends at Kew Gardens in the amazing Hive installation, nike cortez and expanding the King’s Cross Honey Club bee trail App (see the launch video here) which got lots of publicity as far a field as China
  • maintaining bee hives for a number of clients and running ‘meet the bee’ sessions for staff
  • maintaining solitary bee hotels and forage for bees and clients. nike air presto And advising clients on bee forage throughout the year that’s suitable for their locations, nike air huarache from roof terraces to window boxes. This involves ongoing research for our Trees for Bees and Plants for Bees and other pollinators guides and trials of flowers, nike air huarache shrubs and trees that produce lots of nectar and pollen and are hardy, long-flowering, drought resistant and like exposed conditions.

Looking forward to this spring, Nike Air Max 1 Femme we’re going to be working with more clients in 2017 to share our knowledge, basket nike air max 1 advising:

  • companies how to take steps to become more bee-friendly
  • and improving London’s green infrastructure so the city provides more food and shelter for bees and other pollinators.

As we said in our 2014 Tedx talk,

Crocuses – early bee food

The crocus bulbs we plant in the autumn flower in February and early March. We love them because they bring early colour to the garden after winter. air max thea But the bumblebees love them for food. Mochilas Kanken Infantil I always buy a variety with a bee-friendly label on it just in case such as Crocus tommasinianus (Best to be on the safe side these days with so many sterile plants sold just for their looks rather their ability to feed bees).

When bumblebee queens emerge after hibernating they’re often starving, so they need all the food they can find. tn nike But they only eat nectar and pollen from flowers. nike air max pas cher Nectar gives them the energy to forage for more food and to look for a good place to make a nest. nike air max flyknit 2017 Pollen is the protein-rich food they feed to their babies, after their eggs have hatched into hungry larvae.

Crocuses are among the best early flowering food for bees if they’re planted in the sun where the bees like to forage. nike chaussure I also plant mine under our apple tree with snow drops, because they’re natural woodland flowers and look so lovely there, but in truth it’s a bit too shady for the bees.

A patch of crocuses in a sunny corner will deliver a big meal for a queen bumblebee.

First bee on roof of 111 Buckingham Palace Road

The first bee has been spotted on the roof. It’s a fluffy white-tailed bumblebee (Bombus lucorum) collecting nectar and pollen from a Cosmos flower. Fjallraven Kanken Sale This exciting news comes a few months after Urban Bees Ltd was contracted by Savills to install four planters on a corner of the roof. These wooden planters have been gradually filled with a variety of plants that will flower in succession from early spring right through to late autumn, which is when bees are out looking for food if the weather is mild and dry. Bees only eat nectar and pollen from flowers. nike tn 2017 The nectar is their energy drink ( turned into honey by honeybees), pollen is the protein food they feed to their babies.

We don’t know where this bumblebee lives, but by making a corner of the roof on 111 Buckingham Palace roof bee-friendly, we are providing a nectar refueling stop for her and any other London bees on their way home after a hard day’s foraging for food. The lose of flower-rich land as a result of urban development in towns and cities means there is less food for bees and other pollinating insects. The planters are helping to create a B-Line through Victoria by linking existing green spaces, like parks, together. It’s easier for the bees to fly from one big green space to another if they can stop off for a snack en route.

The National Pollinator Strategy for England 2014 set out a ten year plan to help pollinating insects. The planters on the roof are playing their part by feeding bees and raising awareness about their importance . Bees pollinate most of the fruits and vegetables we eat and in cities they pollinate trees and bushes that produce fruits and berries for birds, so they are a vital part of the eco-system and contribute massively towards biodiversity.

There are more than 200 species of bees in the UK. The honeybee lives in man-made hives, but the 24 different species of wild bumblebees and the hundreds of solitary bee species need to find a home in undisturbed holes in the ground, soil or old masonry. nike air huarache New construction makes nesting sites more scarce. We can help by providing ‘bee hotels’ for cavity nesting solitary bees.

Two bee hotels are attached on stands to the rooftop planters. They are packed full of small hollow tubes where solitary red mason bees (Osmia bicornus) can check in during the spring and lay their eggs. nike air max 95 The following spring, when the weather warms up and the apple blossom is out, the new generation or red mason bees will start to emerge from the nest. nike tn pas cher homme They will find a mate, forage for pollen and nectar nearby, and then the female bee will look for new tube where she can lay her eggs and start the cycle all over again.

When the bees have laid a number of eggs in a tube they seal over the entrance with some mud. When the new bees emerge they eat through the mud to get out (like the pic right). Urban Bees placed some sealed tubes from another bee hotel into these ones in the hope we would see bees emerge this spring. Unfortunately, we weren’t lucky enough to see any this year. We hope to see solitary bees checking in next spring.

 

Image result for bumblebee on lavender In the meantime we’ll keep a look out for bees snacking in the planters. With the catmint (Nepeta) and lavenders coming into full bloom, there should be many more sightings over the summer months.

For a list of bee-friendly flowers you can grow throughout the year, go to Urban Bees forage guides.

Anyone can make a DIY ‘bee hotel’ for a garden or even a balcony.

Urban Bees improving bee forage and habitats in 2015

mason_bee_emerging masonbeeonmysotis 10.lovebees solitarybee1

We continued to work with our corporate clients Grosvenor Estates and KPMG to improve the landscape for honey bees and wild bees. Fjallraven Kanken Kids Backpack A tour of Kensington Roof Gardens showed them how it’s possible to have 125 trees on a London roof top in just 18 inches of soil providing year round bee-friendly forage. We are passionate about the potential for cities to have more roofs like this to help pollinators and ourselves by increasing flood resilience and reducing pollution.

Two roofs high above Canary Wharf are now providing more forage for bees; one large green roof managed by Willerby Landscapes, where we advised on replacing some of the plants struggling in the exposed conditions with other more robust varieties that bees like, the other roof where the hives are located at KPMG now has planters containing year-round bee flowers. nike air max femme And thanks to Alec Butcher, landscape manager at Canary Wharf management, the few green spaces in Canary Wharf are now planted with more pollinator-friendly shrubs and flowers including holly bushes, Pulmonaria and Erysimum bowles mauve.

More bee hotels for solitary red mason bees (Osmia bicornis) to nest in are now installed across London, including on the side of our garden shed. We put a bee hotel on the roof at Weils law firm in the City, having worked with the gardener last year to improve the bee forage on the terrace. It’s used for events during the summer so isn’t suitable for hosting a hive but the company was keen to learn about how they could help wild bees instead. We gave a talk to staff about what they could do at home to provide shelter and food. We also encouraged KPMG staff at its Watford office to create a bee and bug hotel in their car park.

We gave talks and ran workshops throughout the year for corporates and local communities on how to provide better forage for wild bees (including a talk at urban gardening show, GROW ) and how to build your own bee hotel out of recycled wooden organ pipes (kindly donated by St Peter’s Church in Hackney) or out of plastic water bottles and hollow bamboo canes. nike air max 2016 One of the most enjoyable events was at the Dalston Eastern Curve garden, a weekend of Bees, Butterflies and Blooms for the Chelsea fringe. The brightly painted bee hotels are now proudly displayed on a south facing wall. nike air max 2015 We hope they will be inhabited this coming spring. nike air max pas cher As part of the weekend, we created bee ID charts that allowed visitors to spot the different bees they saw.

In King’s Cross we continued to work with youth charity, Global Generation. Mochilas Kanken This year, we partnered on a Bees for a Better World project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, which introduced young people to both wild bees and forage around the urban development and on an organic farm in Wiltshire.

The HoneyClub KX Bee Trail app, developed by Honey Club members (Urban Bees, Wolff Olins and Global Generation) was the culmination of our educational work around bees and forage. The exciting app allowed visitors during August to tour London’s new development counting four species of bees at a various locations, learning about the forage and bee habitat en route and unlocking vouchers to use at bars and cafes in the area. Thanks to Des Smith, head gardener for Willerby Landscapes on the King’s Cross site, for working with us to map the bee-friendly flowers throughout the year across the development and Argent for supporting the piloting of the app.

The Urban Bees apiary continued to flourish at London Wildlife Trust’s Camley Street Nature Park, and we gave LWT volunteers an opportunity to learn more about the workings of a hive and to enjoy the honey that the bees produced over the summer.

We are also began training corporate beekeepers for a couple of new clients in central London this year.

As 2015 draws to a close with unseasonably warm weather in London allowing honeybees to forage over Christmas, and flooding in the north of England, we have to make our cities more resilient.

One of the highlights of the year was meeting planting design professor, Nigel Dunnett at the opening of the first rain garden in central London. It’s outside the HQ of the John Lewis Partnership in Victoria where Urban Bees has worked with Victoria BID to train responsible beekeepers to keep hives. The rain garden will capture rainwater runoff from surrounding buildings and slowly release it into soil, to be absorbed by 30 different types of plants and two Italian Alder trees.

By making cities more bee-friendly by planting more trees and shrubs to feed them and other pollinators, and to act as urban drainage we create a win, win for bees and for us.

Thanks to all our partners and collaborators and people that inspired us in 2015.

First rain garden in central London

nigeldunnett

Great to meet Nigel Dunnett at the opening of the John Lewis rain garden in Victoria, yesterday. nike air presto pas cher Professor Dunnett is responsible for making wildflower meadows popular again following the success of his beautiful creations at the London Olympics .

The rain garden couldn’t be more different from the vibrancy and wildness of the planting in the Queen Elizabeth park. It’s smart, tidy and clean, but still includes more than 30 plants selected for their attractiveness to pollinators, and ability to cope in shade and have their roots in water. nike femme They include lots of pink Bergenia ‘Overture’, forget-me-not like blue flowers and sliver follage of Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’, and the white brush-like flowers of Tiarella ‘Spring Symphony’. Kanken Fjallraven All these are in flower now. They’ll be followed later in the summer by Rudbeckia, Kniphofias (Red hot pokers) , Asters and the architectural Acanthus hungarlcus.

bergenias1

This is the first rain garden in central London; “a pioneering project that be the shape of the future as we adapt our urban environment to climate change”, said Dunnett. Mochilas Fjallraven Kanken No.2 He thanked the John Lewis partnership for being “courageous” in taking the risk.

The cobbled area in front of the JLP HQ had seen problem flooding in recent years. nike air max 90 pas cher The rain garden will help use rainwater runoff from the surrounding buildings, as well as create a biodiverse, attractive green space for people and wildlife to enjoy. fjallraven kanken Backpack uk It will look more attractive as it matures.

How it works – instead of rainwater runoff going into the drains which can lead to flooding after a torrential downpour, guttering has been diverted so rain water is collected and stored in a large raised planter (rather like a water butt, but with plants in it) with any overspill then slowly running into the garden itself where it will be soaked up by the plants, soil and two newly planted majestic Italian alder trees.

This seemingly simple idea took two and a half years to come to fruition and about £50k to create. It’s been designed by Nigel Dunnett, who is professor of planting design and urban horticulture at Sheffield University, and The Landscape Agency , and delivered by Landform consultants for the Victoria BID.

The project received funding and support from the Mayor of London’s Greening the BIDs project and Natural England via the Cross River Partnership regeneration agency.

Signage will be going up soon to explain to the thousands of people who pass by the area each day what the rain garden aims to achieve.

Creating homes for solitary bees

Twenty five new solitary bee homes will be going up in gardens, parks and on balconies around De Beauvoir in the next few weeks following a ‘how to make a bee hotel’ free workshop yesterday run by Urban Bees for the Hackney community.

workshoppublicity 4.busyworkshop6.paintingtable

Held at St Peter’s Church, the frames for the bee hotels were made from old, wooden organ pipes kindly donated by the church. air max homme Old floor boards were srewed in for the backing.

1.dcaterscrewinginnails

Local residents donated the bamboo stems, from their gardens, in which the solitary bees will hopefully make their nests come the spring.

Those confident with a hack saw cut the hollow stems into 15cm length pieces.

3.readinginstructions 2.fionasawing

For others, Brian had cut hundreds of pieces earlier in true Blue Peter style ready to fit inthe frames.

4.cramminginthebamboo5.vicarmakingabeehotel

Young participants painted their bee hotels fantastic bright colours. Basket nike 2018 A budding Pollock and Rothko perhaps!

7.jackpainting8.Pollockbeehotel 9.Rothkobeehotel 10.lovebees

It’s no good just taking your hotel home, fixing it firmly to a shed or wall or fence in a warm location, at least 1 metere above ground. The red mason bees need forage from March to July. air max soldes pas cher It’s as important as proving habitat where they can nest and lay eggs.

So everyone left with a bee-friendly plant, mainly Forget-me-nots (myostis) from my garden which supply the solitary bees with nectar and pollen. And some pulmonaria from Diana Jackson’s garden.

11.beehabitatandforage 12.carolinebeehotelandmyotosis

Everyone had a fantastic afternoon. I gave a short talk about solitary bees – the unsung heros of the bee world.

“I never knew bees were so fascinating,” said Julia Porter, St Peter’s vicar and now a proud owner of a bee hotel made with her own hands that will go into the vicarage garden.

Hackney council gardener, Craig Davies, will be putting three up in De Beavoir Square.

Special thanks to Gillian Borrie for helping with the refreshments and Ruth Napolitano for taking donations to cover the costs of the event. Comprar mochilas kanken And for Diana Weir for coming up with the idea in the first place.

Everyone went home very happy to be doing something positive for bees locally. nike femme pas cher The red mason bees and leafcutter bees will be emerging next month and looking for new homes. nike air presto Workshop participants hope to share photos of bees checking-in to their hotels.

13.russelbeehotel completedbeehotel

This is the first of a series of events that Urban Bees will be involved in, designed to make the De Beauvoir neighbourhood of Hackney more bee and pollinator -friendly.

Valetine’s beekeeping

Around Valetine’s Day is the beginning of the beekeeping calendar.

With the days getting longer, air max thea pas cher and the catkins on the alder and hazel out, Mochilas Kanken Classic the honeybees are starting to fly on milder days like today when the temperature hit 12 degrees at our apiary in Camley Street. Fjallraven Kanken Sale Here’s a bee having a rest on the roof of a hive after a short flight.

IMG_20150215_130622749IMG_20150215_135703685

So myself and Brian took a romantic walk around the apiary to check how the bees have been doing over the winter.

He opened up the roof of all the hives and placed a feed of fondant over the hole in the crownboard for bees who may need it as a food supplement until more flowers are out. nike free pas chers And if we have a cold spell, Fjallraven Kanken Classic they may not be able to forage for a few weeks.

IMG_20150215_124819743_HDRIMG_20150215_125135791IMG_20150215_124855191_HDR

A couple of hives didn’t make it through, nike homme but the majority are looking good at the moment.

Solitary bees check-in to garden hotel

rowofbeehotels solitarybee1 packinginpollen

Great to see Red Mason bees (Osmia bicornis) using the solitary bee hotels we’ve put up in the garden.

solitarybee21 gettingstuckin 3completednests

The female bees emerged a few weeks ago, have mated, and are now busily laying their eggs in the hollow tubes. nike air tn They forage for pollen from the flowers and pack it around each egg so when it hatches later in the summer it has plenty of food. acheter chaussures nike She makes a partition wall of mud between each egg. nike tn femme After she’s laid eight to ten eggs in each tube, she seals the tube with mud she’s brought back to the hotel. nike air presto pas cher Then she does the same in a second tube. This bee seems to have completed two tubes. Fjallraven Kanken She’ll keep going until she’s laid all of her eggs, which could be another three tubes.

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Unfortunately we’ve still not heard of any reports of bees checking into the bee hotels we made at our workshop earlier in they year. Basket nike 2018 They’ve been put around the neighbourhood in sunny spots but the bees have yet to find them. nike air max 2017 There may be too much dappled light in front of this second hotel.

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As well as suitable habit, the Red mason bees need food.

Haggerston hotels

haggerston1 Two bee hotels from the bee hotel workshop at St Peter’s have now found a home in Haggerston Park. Fjallraven Kanken Kids LBH gardeners, Andy and Brian, nike magista pas cher helped Brian from Urban Bees, put them in a nice sunny spot.

haggerston3 They are high up, away from dog walkers and other park users.

haggerston4 The hollow bamboo stems should attract the lovely Osmia bicornis (Red Mason Bees) who will shortly be emerging from their winter slumber. Mochilas Kanken No.2 Hopefully they will be checking into the wooden-framed hotel filled with bamboo stems later this month.

This is what an Osmia bicornis looks like. Kanken Kids UK redmansonbee She’s browner and slightly rounder than a honey bee, but a lot smaller and less cuddly than a bumble bee. Mochilas Fjallraven Kanken Big She does have a sting,

Nancy’s bee hotel occupied

 

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Nancy fixed the bee hotel she made at St Peter’s Church in February to her garden’s very warm south facing wall. nike air max homme We saw it today, basket nike when she opened her lovely garden as part of the Open Garden Scheme. Fjallraven Kanken NO.2 And we were thrilled to see that about five of the bamboo tubes were sealed with mud, Mochilas Kanken which means Red Mason bees have checked-in and laid their eggs here.

Next year there could be as many as 30 bees emerging from the nest in the early spring,

Home… sweet home

The first solitary bee hotels – made at last week’s community workshop – are put in place in De Beauvoir Square.

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Brian at Urban Bees and Craig, nike air presto pas cher the Hackney gardener who maintains De Beauvoir, Kanken Mini UK are putting up a couple of the bee hotels on the south facing wall of the building in the square. Fjallraven Kanken UK It’s a nice sheltered sunny spot.

Craig is proudly showing off the new hotels he made with bamboo from local gardens and the wooden organ pipes kindly donated from De Beauvoir church.

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Now we just have to wait for some warmer weather to see if the solitary bees, nike air pegasus mainly Red Mason bees,

2014 – our highlights

The year kicked off with Alison giving a successful Tedx talk at Warwick University on the Urban Buzz; why we need to create bee-friendly cities to benefit both humans and pollinators.

Our work with corporate clients Grosvenor Estates and KPMG allowed us to put some of this thinking into action. nike femme We were not only teaching beekeeping in Mayfair and Belgravia but raising awareness with head gardeners from Eaton Square to Canary Wharf about the importance of year-round forage for bees in cities and the need for bee habitats. nike air max 90 femme gris rose And by partnering with roofing company Wild about Roofs we were instrumental in getting lavender roofs installed as a retro-fit on Grosvenor properties in Mayfair.

We have also helped a law firm and its gardner to change their planting scheme to begin transforming its large roof terrace into a haven for bees. Will see the initial results in late spring.

A month by month Urban Bees’ Plants for Bees guide online as well as a pull-out leaflet now accompanies our updated popular Urban Bees’ Trees for Bees guide.

We worked more closely with River of Flowers, creating bee pastures, wild flower meadows and fragrant walks on the Clapham Manor housing estate in south London with the help of Lambeth council and some fabulous local residents; young and old.

We also created an attractively packaged Urban Bees and River of Flowers pollinator seed mix which will be on sale this coming spring.

Urban Bees continued to support the Honey Club in King’s Cross with meet-the-bees sessions at the Skip Garden for Global Generation’s young people and business members of the Honey Club. nike air huarache avis Brian also inspired many construction workers on the King’s Cross development with his stories about the amazing workings of the bee hive. Some of which was captured on film.

Taster days at Camley Street Nature Park continued to prove popular. nike magista pas cher We also ran a few at Regent’s Park this year as well, including one all day out-door course as it was such a warm September day.

The highlight of the year for the bees was without doubt the delightful weather. acheter chaussures nike After a few bad years, the spring and summer of 2014 couldn’t have been better; an early warm spring, followed by a a long, very warm summer that carried into October giving bees the chance to collect an abundance of ivy pollen and nectar before the onset of winter. They also produced copious amounts of delicious honey after the disappointing yields of previous years. Fjallraven Kanken Kids Backpack As a result, 2014 King’s Cross honey should be available well into next year.

The other good news was the launch of the government’s pollinator strategy.

Most expensive bug house in London?

Is this the most expensive bug house in London? This wood pile with holes drilled into the logs to provide nests for solitary bees has been created by Nick Butler, lead gardener for Grosvenor estates. nike air max pas cher And it is hidden away in a corner of Eaton Square no less.

eaton square bug hotel

It represents a shift in how Grosvenor is going to be managing its private squares and gardens in future with pollinators and biodiversity more in mind. Kanken Big UK Nick says he has wanted to introduce more flowering, air max soldes pas cher pollinator-friendly plants into the gardens since he became the Grosvenor beekeeper. fjallraven kanken uk The company received hives as part of the Victoria Business Improvement District (BID) beekeeping initiative and Urban Bees trained Nick and others in the company.

“Horticultural college doesn’t really teach you about bees, but being there physically with the honeybees I thought I should help them and the wild bees out by providing better food for them and habitat for the solitary bees and the bumblebees. nike pegasus I’ve got the whole gardening team involved and the local residents’ garden committees. First and foremost, the gardens have to look good but there is a lot of interest.”

The bees will be very happy with all the Ceanothus , nike femme pas cher digitalis, Fjallraven Kanken Backpack mahonias and aliums that are currently being planted.

Wildflower meadow

 

Alison, Urban Bees, sowing wild flower meadow

Laying a wildflower meadow turf on a council estate in south London and sowing a strip of wildflowers around it is the beginning of a project Urban Bees and River of Flowers are doing to transform pockets of ugly, unloved green spaces into vibrant, colourful bee pastures.

This is our first collaboration to improve bee and other pollinator habitats for food and shelter.

We were asked by Lambeth council to come up with ideas for improving the environment and making it more bee-friendly after calls from residents to brighten up the place.

We will be pioneering the planting of wildflower bee pastures for wild bees, nike air pegasus honeybees and other pollinators. nike magista We’re also creating a ‘fragrant walk’ with flowering herbs that bees love and dotting some ornamental bee favourites around the estate including hebes, Fjallraven Kanken Mini choisyas and wallflowers.

We’re hoping to get local school children to help us finish this bee and bug hotel.

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Resident’s will be out planting in May to create the first bee pastures in raised beds. They’ll also be planting fruit and veg around the estate as part of a local residents’ food growing programme.

Thanks to Crispin and the fathers at Father Nature for doing all the hard lifting, nike air max 2012 raking and laying for the wildflower meadow. Fjallraven Kanken Mini Backpack (Now we have to hope for lots of rain and that people and dogs don’t trample over it.)

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And to our youngest helper.

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The lessons we learn here will inform future Urban Bees/River of Flowers projects to make our cities more pollinator-friendly.

Curtains for neonics?

The international taskforce on systemic pesticides – a group of global, independent scientists including Professor Dave Goulson at Sussex University – has spent four years analysing all the peer reviewed studies on neonics and fipronil and has today concluded that there is clear evidence of serious harm to honeybees and other pollinators worldwide as well as earthworms and birds. There’s a good video of their findings here.

Neonics are the most widely used group of insecticides globally, with a 40% market share and sales worth more than US $2.63bn in 2011. Fjallraven Kanken Cheap They include imidacloprid which is also used in domestic treatments to prevent fleas in cats.

Alarm bells were first raised about this new class of pesticide 20 years ago when French beekeepers accused Bayer’s seed dressing for sunflowers, sold as Gaucho, of killing their bees. Kanken Kids UK Ever since the industry has been denying the harmful effects of its products on bees, claiming that every independent piece of research is flawed in some way or another; lab tests feed too high a concentration of the pesticide to the bees; field tests have too many other variables so you can’t pin higher bee mortality on their products.

When we were researching A World without Bees to try to get to the bottom of what was causing the huge collapse of honeybee colonies in the US in 2007 and 2008, we found time and again that the relevant tests hadn’t been done by the regulatory authorities to determine the real risks the neonics posed to honeybees. So it was impossible to say that they were safe. Mochilas Fjallraven Kanken Big Yet they were being licensed all over the world and sold in their millions. nike air presto Until the tests were done we argued that we needed a worldwide ban, using the precautionary principle. Last year, the EU introduced a two year ban and just last week President Obama set up a task force charged with saving bees from mysterious decline which could well lead to a temporary suspension while better tests are undertaken.

The US have been looking into bee die offs since they were first reported on a massive scale seven years ago. Beekeepers pointed the finger at the neonics straight away but the US department of agricultural didn’t want to know. Fjallraven Kanken Big Sale It blamed poor beekeeping, parasites, such as the varroa mite, and poor nutrition. All of these play a major part in bee health, but the role of pesticides should not be underestimated.

Response from the pesticide manufacturers to the latest report, called the Worldwide Integrated Assessment report on the use of neonics and fipronil, is entirely predictable. It fails to acknowledge the report on its website. But Nick von Westenholz, chief executive of the industry lobby, the Crop Protection Agency, told the Guardian: “It is a selective review of existing studies which highlighted worst-case scenarios, largely produced under laboratory conditions. As such, the publication does not represent a robust assessment of the safety of systemic pesticides under realistic conditions of use.”

He added: “Importantly, they have failed or neglected to look at the broad benefits provided by this technology and the fact that by maximising yields from land already under cultivation, more wild spaces are preserved for biodiversity. nike air max 90 homme The crop protection industry takes its responsibility towards pollinators seriously.