Gardening · General · wildlife

The Great British Bee Count

I just wanted to do my small part to helping a worthwhile cause.

May 19th marks the start of the Great British Bee Count. I can’t help but encourage anyone in the UK to add their 2p worth into this if you can.

great-british-bee-count-logo-waitrose-2016-2_2
This will be my third year adding in my observations. I hope that some of you will have a go and help scientists learn about population numbers and dispersal.

Thank you all for reading!

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15 thoughts on “The Great British Bee Count

  1. We do our part here in Colorado (USA) – every spring (happening right now) a semi truck load of bees come up to us from Arizona. We have an agreement with the bee keeper/owner. They drive up here every spring. Park in our field for 3 days. They bring in local smaller trucks and a forklift. The first day/night they stay covered on the semi. 2nd day & night they take them off the truck and uncover – this is fun because we will have about 600 colonies floating around our place that day – woo hoo! That’s a lot of bees, but cool to watch. The 2nd night they will separate them into the smaller trucks, re-cover them, then on the 3rd day they get spread out across northeastern Colorado – about 5-6 counties. Then in the fall they do just the reverse. All we do is allow them onto our property. It’s perfect for them because we are right off the main highway, we have a HUGE flat field they can pull all the trucks into (nothing blocking them) and we are centered in the area they disperse to. For our troubles – 1 HUGE case of raw honey – YUM!! Oh, and this year the owner send up a 50lb bad of fresh oranges – DOUBLE BONUS! He started his orange grove the same year we started our greenhouse. Every year we have share (verbally) our experiences, but this is the first year he has had such a bumper crop to share – woo hoo!!
    One year one of the colonies lost their queen and landed a new on a small tree to the north of our house. We got to watch the “swarm” up close and personal – now that was cool!

      1. We have several boxes that they leave with us spring to fall for our plants. The only time they swarm is when the lose (she dies) their queen and need to elect a new one and it is kinda scary. The “bee drop” was about 5 feet long (looked sort of like this but longer: http://thumbs.dreamstime.com/z/bee-swarm-5746108.jpg ). It didn’t last very long. We have a local friend (he is partners with the guy from AZ) that we called when we saw it and by the time he got up here they already had their new queen. All he did was make sure they all made it back to their hive/box. (maybe 15 minutes tops) oh, and do NOT go near them when this is happening – not a bunch of happy campers during the process!

        1. I heard that swarm time can be dangerous. If queen dies there is a lot of confusion and anger until another queen takes over.
          I follow a guy on twitter that was talking about it the other week.

      1. Yes, they do. I can’t remember what I meant by my original comment now. Maybe I was thinking back to a conversation I had had earlier in the day about neem oil and insects.

          1. Yes, I saw a black and yellow ladybird on the apple tree – eating aphids no doubt, before I zapped them. So, there is a downside to getting rid of aphids: no food for the ladybirds!

              1. Unfortunately, I didn’t want to take the risk because of the lack of fruit the previous two years. The tree seemed to be generally weakened by the sheer number of aphids – the leaves were in a horrid state then 😥.

                1. Yeah. My Camellia has(had?) the exact same problem. Last year it had aphids and this year it’s really been held back. Only one flower and loads of crappy leaves that I have been removing as new growth kicks in.

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