Planting for Bees
This month meeting’s presentation was one I was personally looking forward to the most has I have been preparing and researching the topic recently. My focus had been UK native wildflowers and I hoped to check that my meadow selection was correct as well as hear about other ways I could later enhance the forage opportunities in my otherwise very cereal and grass rich area.
It is obvious that most beekeepers are also keen gardeners and I feel a little green among them but starting beekeeping feels like that anyway and that should not put anyone off!
Stuart Hatton explained his horticulture background. He then presented many slides listing the benefits of various plants; shrubs, trees, flowers, etc.
A few things to remember:
- Avoid double flowered varieties as they don’t yield nectar.
- Plant in groups as bees like to forage where it is worth their while!
- Avoid pesticides… or at the very least spray before or after the bees are out.
- Picking you fertiliser well is important. Fertiliser like fish, blood and bonemeal is organic and is broken down over a period of months so is better for the plants. Also it is a good idea to change the compost in any planters which are used for summer and winter bedding plants to avoid problems with Vine Weevil.
A list of useful plants from the BBKA and another one from Stuart himself were made available. Ask Stuart or Pam for a copy next time you go see them at Hatton Lodge Apiary
Stuart and Pam have also been key organisers of the yearly CBKA show stand at Tatton park during the RHS Show. Stuart explained what is involved in the preparation and what makes a difference in the race to a Prize!
Award ceremony for the 2018 South Cheshire Branch Honey Show
Alan Smith presented the results and distributed the prizes and many thanks to the participants. Well done all and a great thank you!
results on the websites?
Sydney reminded us all that becoming a good beekeeper is a lot easier when people are sharing; sharing tips, experience, questions. That sharing is great in Cheshire and it is greatly enabled by our monthly meetings where anybody can openly ask questions and we can all learn form each others. Passing of knowledge is a great opportunity.
Next month’s meeting
The presentation is on the theme of Experiences of Bee Farming in New Zealand by Chris Logan.