Thursday, 11 June 2009

Humbled by the bumble bees

Since becoming a fully fledged vegetable and herb grower, I have become more and more aware of the vital contribution bees makes towards our food production and survival.

A little while ago I learned that there were only 250 species of bees in the UK, only 25 are native of which 5 are extinct and 3 others seriously under threat. It was last year I noted the lack of bees on my plot, so I made a conscious decision to start planting additional flowers and herbs both at home and at the plots, and I am so glad I did. I have never seen so many bees on one lavender plant - ever, and they are absolutely fascinating to watch.
The decline of bees has also been witnessed in other parts of the world, most notably America. A couple of months ago, I watched a documentary on the BBC4 called ‘Who killed the honeybee?’ this actually motivated me furthermore. Since then, I have been doing a bit of research, as I would like to play my small role in preserving the diversity of bees for generations to come. Along with

- providing plants, flowers and herbs for pollination; and
- providing bee houses and nesting boxes

I also have decided to become a member of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.

Maybe oneday I will be able to become a beekeeper?! Who knows. I end by asking each and everyone of you if you can, please do try and plant at least one bee friendly herb or flower in your garden, window box or plot to encourage the longevity of our humble friends – the bumble bee.

PS There is also a blog helpsavebees that I will be following.


  1. Seems like we're headed down a similar road, Mango! I too have masses of bees on my french lavender: isn't it a lovely sight!

  2. Good news about the bees being out and about this year.

    By the way, my lemon verbena is doing brilliantly, it has finally transformed from a twiggy stick, to a delicate green plant.

  3. I am a member of a local honey bee conservation group. It's very informal. Most of the members are beekeepers.

    Our yard is full or bees! They love the flowers on the fruit trees.

  4. Really pleased to hear that Michele,

    I posted the membership form off a couple of days, so in a week or so I too will be an official member.

    Beekeepers - I haven't met anyone of that occupation yet, but I am sure I will eventually...

  5. Last year we allowed some borage to go to seed and noticed it attracted, literally, scores of bees. It's terrible stuff to eradicate from your garden once it sets seed, but we've actually set up a little patch of it this year in the hope it will have a similar effect.

  6. Thank you so much for leaving a comment.

    Funny you should say about the borage, in my home garden plot, the borage comes up every year. I leave some plants in, but have to pull out the excess.

    Other than having the advantage of bees being attracted to it, borage leaves and flowers are edible in small quantities, it has a cucumber like taste that I don't mind.


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