Tag Archives: bee hotels

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.

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,

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,