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Green Magpie

Latest posts by Green Magpie


Posted: 26/05/2015 at 17:04

Although Bee-Friendly Beekeeper and I agree on certain things (for instance,  that it's worth taking a bit if time and trouble to learn about bees before taking them on), we don't share the same approach. I would say join your local BBKA and take a course with them. They will introduce you to beekeeping and show you some hives so that you can begin to learn how bees live and how best to care for them.

Just building a hive and getting some bees is not actually very bee-friendly at all. You need to have some idea of what threats the bees may face (diseases, cold, robbing attacks by wasps, etc) and how best to help the colony survive.  If you want to get honey from them, that's another lot of skills, knowledge and equipment that you'll need. It's a very rewarding hobby, but it's not like setting up a bird table or a nesting box, it's much more complicated than that.


Seed sowing.

Posted: 25/05/2015 at 22:15

Preparing the ground is the bit that takes the time and effort. Actually sowing the seed is very satisfying and only takes minutes, unless you're growing on a commercial scale.


Posted: 25/05/2015 at 20:52

There's no reason they would attack anyone. The only bee you need to worry about is the one you haven't seen (and so you sit on it, stand on it, etc). Once you start watching them go about their business, they're fascinating creatures.


Posted: 25/05/2015 at 19:55

Not far off, Lyn, I'm in south Devon.


Posted: 25/05/2015 at 14:59

 Sounds like stinkhorn to me. You usually smell it before you can see it. Smells a bit as if some animal or bird has died and rotted. I have never noticed a smell from red valerian, which we have in our garden and in the lanes around here.


Posted: 25/05/2015 at 14:55

Ooh, that's quite exciting! It sounds lime the sort of place they'll be very happy, and your garden will benefit from the pollination. I don't think these bees survive the winter as a colony, so you will be able to clear out the box later in the year if you want to.

Broad beans - should they look like this?

Posted: 25/05/2015 at 10:21

Mine aren't like that, they're all straight. If they're not dried out, I dont know what it can be. Sorry not to be more helpful.

bean seed germinating

Posted: 25/05/2015 at 09:23

I was a bit short of healthy French bean plants, after a couple of setbacks, so I ordered some more seeds from Moreveg online. They came in a few days and are now safely tucked up in a the soil. It isn't too late for French beans and probably runners, but it's a bit late for broad beans.


Posted: 24/05/2015 at 22:22

Are they honey bees? How big is your bird house? If it's not very big, it's not likely to be a swarm. Could there be something edible or sweet in the bird house that's  attracting them? A bird house doesn't sound like a big enough place for a swarm to choose to colonise, they may just be curious visitors in search of food.

Lily beetles

Posted: 24/05/2015 at 20:49

M y lilies are in two clumps of three, in a mixed border, and somehow only one of the lilies has had beetles so far. I have just been out to check some different lilies in pots elsewhere in the garden, and they're OK.

No matter how mixed the arrangement is, snails always seem to find their favourite plants. I have a single blue phlox on which most of the leaves, from the bottom up, were chomped off in a short time. I put down a few slug pellets and next morning removed about 6 snails from around its base.


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14 threads returned