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Latest posts by Topbird

Anyone identify this plant for me?

Posted: 11/06/2015 at 12:22

Thumbs up for the weedkiller approach from me. I would go for one of the stronger glyphosphate based weedkillers recommended in the RHS article linked in Dove's posting.

Don't panic Hefty - I know at least 2 people who have successfully eradicated JKW using glyphosphate & they had substantial clumps - much bigger than your single plant. The important thing is to keep on top of the spraying if it comes back. 

Good luck 

PS Might be worth mentioning to your neighbours so they can also be vigilant for any growth in their borders - a concerted effort from all of you will knock it for six.


Last night's Gardeners World

Posted: 09/06/2015 at 19:26

I think I may have found it Jo47 - I've bumped it up in the Wildlife thread .

As you said, that discussion all seemed to get a bit heated..

I think you, I and probably Obelixx are all after the same thing here. We are interested in keeping bees in a more natural, organic, bee friendly way - but only if it is safe for both ourselves and the bees.

It is proving quite difficult to find reasoned, unbiased articles on the pros and cons and I am beginning to think the best way is to try to find somebody who is already doing it successfully & go and talk to them about how much they actually manage their hives etc. I will also watch what Monty does through the season with extra interest.


Posted: 09/06/2015 at 19:20


Are you eating your home grown fruit and veg yet?

Posted: 09/06/2015 at 09:15
Have been picking rhubard, salad leaves, pea shoots & herbs for several weeks. Had the first salad turnip, strawbobs (2)! and full lettuce this weekend.
Looks like lots of goodies to come but I suspect the newly planted tomatoes & courgettes will have struggled with the last couple of very cold nights.
Also - the strawberries look very small this year. I have watered them & most look as if they have a long way to go before they are ready for harvest - but I'm wondering if this is a side effect of the cold spring / fluctuating temperatures we've had. Anybody else noticing this?

Last night's Gardeners World

Posted: 07/06/2015 at 21:33

No I didn't see it Jo - I've only seen 2 posts - one about 2 swarms of bees in someone's garden & the other from a mum worried because bees had made a home under her decking - but I don't think there were any arguments ensuing from either post.

Perhaps you could post a link if you find it again please? 

I certainly have no intention of getting into arguments about the rights and wrongs of different methods of beekeeping. I just know I don't want to have a hive if I have to manage it in the 'traditional' way. If, however,  there is an alternative, safe, hands off, bee-centred approach I can adopt  - this is what I would aim for - hence the research.

I cannot help thinking that it must be possible. Bees have been making hives quite naturally for millennia without any intervention from man...

Last night's Gardeners World

Posted: 07/06/2015 at 21:06

I don't know how pro active you need to be - this is what I'm trying to research. I did, however, find this site and this page in particular to be of interest regarding some of the differences between conventional & natural bee keeping:


Last night's Gardeners World

Posted: 07/06/2015 at 19:10

Last night's Gardeners World

Posted: 07/06/2015 at 18:53

Yes Obelixx the cost of hives, protective gear, smokers, centrifuges etc can soon mount up. That is another positive about just providing a hive & not worrying about honey production - you just don't need a lot of that stuff. 

Monty didn't say whether or not he is hoping to harvest honey - will be interesting to watch his journey

Quality reasonably priced garden sheds

Posted: 07/06/2015 at 17:31

Good luck Didee8.

One word of friendly advice... If you think you want an 8 x 10 shed and you have room for it without it being an eyesore - that is what you should have. It's amazing how quickly they fill up and, if you have a smaller one, you will almost certainly regret it when you can't quite get the bike and the lawn mower and the whatever in - or you have to move everything to get stuff out. 

Last night's Gardeners World

Posted: 07/06/2015 at 17:19

It's something I'm thinking about Jo47.

I would keep the bees mainly to provide them with a warm & safe home and, hopefully, to fill my garden with pollinators. I would not be looking to produce honey (I'm not that fond of the stuff) & would leave it for the bees to feed on over the winter. I would not be looking to disturb the hive / smoke the bees / remove queen bee cells / clip the queen bee's wings  - or do anything else to disturb their natural cycle. They would be allowed to grow their honeycombs in a natural way - downwards (I think). Monty mentioned a 'top bar hive' so I imagine that is intended to be a more natural hive.

I live out in the sticks and swarming (part of the natural bee cycle for producing new colonies) would not be a problem here (lots of trees etc around for them to make new homes in). Swarming is much more of a problem for urban bee keepers where they are highly likely to come into contact with people and their houses. There has been a bit of press coverage about that recently - not good for bees to be getting a bad press...

I've done a bit of research - loads more to do before I make decision. Quite a bit on the internet if you Google 'natural bee keeping' or similar.

Are you thinking about it too Jo? 

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11 threads returned