With a bit of luck you are reading this Spring issue of The Gander in the midst of some pleasant sunny weather. Warm weather during the run-up to Easter is always a good prompt for us to start thinking about our gardens if we have not already done so. With that in mind, and as it is clear that quite a few Goxhill residents are keen to welcome bees into their gardens, I thought that some tips about what shrubs to plant might be appreciated. The following list is just a selection of hardy shrubs that bees and other pollinating insects seem to favour for nectar &/or pollen collection:
Berberis species, various colours, Apr-Jul flowering
Salix species (willows), especially S.apoda, S.boydii, S.hastate, S.lanata, S.melanostachys, S.uva-ursi, early Spring flowering
Symphoricarpos species (snowberry), especially S.alba, S.occidentalis, S.orbiculatus, S.rivularis, Jun-Aug flowering (excellent for nectar)
Syringa species & hybrids (lilac), various colours, mostly Spring flowering
Tamarix species, pink, various Summer flowering times
Viburnum species (evergreen or deciduous), wide range of flowering times
To download a more comprehensive list of shrubs that includes tender varieties (leaflet L3) and a similar list of trees (leaflet L2), visit the British Beekeepers’ Association (BBKA) website at www.britishbeekeepers.com
If you ever need advice about bees, or are concerned about a swarm of bees that has settled nearby, then you can ring me on 530363. I only charge to cover any expenses (primarily mileage) but otherwise I offer my services free and I am covered by the BBKA Public Liability Insurance policy.
It helps me to know the following information when you contact me:
That the creatures are indeed honey bees; most other bees are relatively solitary and harmless. I cannot collect wasps or hornets but I would still need to charge mileage if I attended.
The position of the swarm or cluster of bees - e.g. whether on the ground, the height if in a tree or bush, how accessible it is.
When the swarm arrived.
The size of the cluster – e.g. tennis ball, football, (spacehopper!).
Address/location of the swarm and your telephone number.
Enjoy your garden and let us all hope for a warm and pleasant Summer.