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Bee witched

Latest posts by Bee witched

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Becareful if you use Neem Oil.

Posted: 25/05/2015 at 19:49

Couldn't agree more Blackpool ....  we have 8 hives of honeybees in our garden so need to pick our times carefully for using the neem spray. At this time of year our bees our out until quite late.

Neem oil does not hurt beneficial insects. Only chewing and sucking insects are affected. The main reason is that insects need to ingest the neem oil to be affected, and beneficial insects don't eat your plants. However, you can still kill beneficial insects if you smother them with neem oil, so I tend to spray late evening to be safe.

I find neem really useful in the garden ... just a pity it doesn't work on slugs!!

Talkback: Honey bees in gardens

Posted: 17/05/2015 at 10:59

I'm a big Monty fan .... but he was far too blasé about beekeeping.

A local beekeeping association simply would not just give a swarm of unknown origin to an absolute beginner.

There's so much to know about keeping bees. You need to identify and manage pests and diseases, you need to know when to feed the bees, what to do to prevent swarming so your bees are not a nuisance to neighbours etc etc ...

I just love keeping bees ... I feel it is a both a privilege and a responsibility. It is also time consuming ... and not something to undertake without an appreciation of what is involved.



Posted: 09/05/2015 at 11:23

Mine have been out for a week now (Scotland) but each night I've put the bottom drawers from old 'fridges over them to keep them nice and cosy.

Also means I can put a few of the ferric phosphate slug pellets in with them  ...  with no chance of the birds picking them up. They are gone by morning so I'm assuming those slugs attracted by the courgette plants have succumbed!  

Rose sawfly

Posted: 09/05/2015 at 08:23


Try using a spray of diluted Neem oil ... it is totally organic.

See this link for further info.

and this one for how to make it.

I make up a spray of neem oil and as soon as growth starts in April I drench the foliage. Any spare solution goes onto the soil below the plant as the earthworms are supposed to love it. I repeat spray every few of weeks.

Neem is best used preventatively ... but should help with your current attack.

It is totally organic and although it stinks a bit is easy to mix up and apply.

I got mine off ebay .... wasn't expensive for a big bottle which will last ages. At room temperature it is solid, but goes liquid again within a couple of hours in the airing cupboard.

Worth a try.

Companion thugs

Posted: 02/05/2015 at 20:53

Evening all.

As we keep bees, I try to grow large swathes of flowers that will provide pollen/nectar for the 8 hives we have in the garden.  I am lucky enough to garden on just under an acre ... so have plenty of space for what I call my "thugs".   Over the last few years I have been experimenting with "companion thugs" ... things that will extend the seasons for the bees ... and also look good together.   Some successful companion thug plantings so far include Muscari latifolium (the two-tone one) with Astilbie chinensis pumila ... providing great early/ late season pollen. At the moment native primroses are happily battling it out with Ajuga reptans and both looking lovely under a large oak before the canopy closes in. Later in the year Geranium 'Ann Folkard' will be sprawling between self-sown orange Welsh poppies and usefully hiding the dying daffodil foliage beneath. In the bog garden Filipendula purpurea shares a space with candelabra primulas. They will be providing a useful nectar source after the primulas have done their thing.   I'd love to hear of any other "2 in a bed "planting schemes you have grown.

Brown leaves on Hydrangea

Posted: 29/04/2015 at 17:07

Yes frost .... mine were looking lovely but not now!

Quite a few other plants have been blasted. We had an overnight of minus 3 after a few days of plus 20 ... so no surprise really.

I'm hopeful they will all recover.

Slugs and aphids, already a problem!

Posted: 25/04/2015 at 21:58

Hi Poodle,

You might want to consider slug pellets based on Ferric Phosphate. It is supposed to be Ok for pets ... but you could put the pellets under a few short planks so your dog won't see them.

Good luck with the neem ... it is also good for preventing damage from sawfly.

Slugs and aphids, already a problem!

Posted: 25/04/2015 at 17:25

Hi Poodle,

For the aphids try using a spray of diluted Neem oil ... it is totally organic.

See this link for further info.

and this one for how to make it.

Works for me for aphids.

I share your pain re the slugs ... 

Planted small trees, what to grow in between

Posted: 24/04/2015 at 07:46

Hi Susan,

You might want to try a few things from seed. I've grown Asperula oderata (sweet woodruff)  ....  and it is now romping away under a group of rowans. Viola labradorica is also easy and a good spreader under trees.

Have a look at the Chiltern seeds website and I'm sure you'll be tempted with a few woodland plants to try.



Calla lilies - zantedeschia - any tips?

Posted: 22/04/2015 at 20:54


Take care how you feed when you start watering again in Spring each year.

First year I just used normal houseplant feed and got too much foliage and no flowers. Since then I've used tomato feed and got a good balance of flowers to leaves.

1 to 10 of 54

Discussions started by Bee witched

Companion thugs

Replies: 2    Views: 180
Last Post: 03/05/2015 at 01:20

Oh No!!

Replies: 6    Views: 595
Last Post: 22/12/2013 at 14:28
2 threads returned