Bee witched

Latest posts by Bee witched

1 to 10 of 254

Can anyone identify this plant/ivy?

Posted: 14/05/2017 at 18:23

All lamiums are great bee plants ...... just saying ..... I'll get my coat 

Bee x

Sooty mould

Posted: 22/04/2017 at 18:32


Before you cut your plant down it might be worth trying a spray of neem oil solution.

I use this for sawfly and lily beetles ... I haven't tried it for scale / sooty mould but this link suggests it should work .

I make my own up rather than buy it ready made .... let me know if you'd like to do this and I'll post the info.


Planting climbers / ivy against garden walls

Posted: 22/04/2017 at 17:31

Just a thought Marvin ...

If you think that you might want to re-paint those walls at some future date  .... then you might want to consider attaching your trellis using hinges on to a timber batten ... that way you can lower the trellis and paint behind. You could do this at a time when your selected plants have just been pruned and will be OK laying forward for a bit while the paint dries.



Insect identification help please

Posted: 22/04/2017 at 17:17

Hi Helski,

You would know if they were honey bees as there would be a lot more of them  .... also they would not be creating a hive in that sort of situation.

Could it be these?

or these?


Challenging Clay

Posted: 22/04/2017 at 16:56

Hi kc.sdic,

Just as an an aside ... 

Might be worth you asking if you can go into the field and gather up the poop from the llamas and the horse.

People are paying good money for camelid poop ... see this link!!

I'd be getting out with the shovel if I were you!



Lily beetles

Posted: 21/04/2017 at 18:18

Hi Folks,

Don't get mad get even!

The neem oil I recommended earlier in this thread really works.  It is used in making shampoos, toothpaste, soaps, cosmetics, mosquito repellants, creams and lotions, pet products like pet shampoo, etc.

It is derived by pressing the seed kernels of the neem tree ... totally natural. 

I am a beekeeper so don't use any chemicals in the garden ....  and I only spray the neem late evening to avoid bees / ladybirds etc.

Really worth trying.


Ideas to weigh down weed blackout

Posted: 17/04/2017 at 20:46

I've used these ....

I can spend hours looking through this catalogue .... loads of "essential" gardening sundries!


Lily beetles

Posted: 17/04/2017 at 13:19

Hi Folks,

I use a spray of diluted neem oil .... it is totally organic ... and don't have any problems growing lilies or fritillaries.

See this link for further info.

and this one for how to make it.

I use it as soon as growth starts in April and I drench the foliage. Any spare solution goes onto the soil below as the earthworms are supposed to love it. I repeat spray every few weeks.

Neem is best used preventatively .... but will work on pests that have already arrived. It  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.

It does stink a bit ... but 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 .... also seems to work well for gooseberry sawfly and aphids.


Electric Tiller

Posted: 15/04/2017 at 19:34

Hi Darren,

I've also got a mantis petrol tiller .... and it has done some serious work over the years.

I garden on heavy clay soil / stones. In winter it's very sticky .... in summer it's hard baked. The mantis has coped well.

It can be adjusted to till at a shallower / deeper level which is useful. 

I also use it in my leaf mold pen to chop everything up and speed up the transition to a lovely, crumbly tilth.

Whatever you buy needs to be heavy enough so that it doesn't just "bounce" over a hard surface .... but also not too heavy for you to be able to manoeuvre. 

Hope this is helpful.


Bees in pond sludge

Posted: 14/04/2017 at 22:55

Hi VS,

Good to hear that they are surviving in your chimney .... often feral bees succumb to varroa mite and die out.

If they decide to move on the queen will leave with half the bees (possibly several thousand)  ... and leave the remaining bees in the chimney with queen cells to hatch as a replacement queen. This "swarming season" tends to be anytime from late May - mid July.

The activity you've seen today is likely just to be them being busy doing their various jobs (water carrying being one of them) getting the hive ready for the summer ahead.


1 to 10 of 254

Discussions started by Bee witched

NOT perfect for pollinators ....

Replies: 9    Views: 844
Last Post: 02/04/2016 at 17:12

Neonicotinoids and bees

Replies: 4    Views: 906
Last Post: 03/03/2017 at 17:30

Companion thugs

Replies: 2    Views: 704
Last Post: 03/05/2015 at 01:20

Oh No!!

Replies: 6    Views: 1178
Last Post: 22/12/2013 at 14:28
4 threads returned