It was wonderful chatting with Paul Wilson recently when Jenny joined his Happy Head Podcast. They discussed many subjects from bees, hedgehogs, sustainability to mindfulness and planting – in all honesty there wasn’t many topics they didn’t touch on. Grab yourself a cuppa and join us to listen in.
Thank you Paul for the invitation and for being such a great host.
Download and listen here:
Google Podcasts: http://tiny.cc/AHHpcgoogle

 

Thanks to Paul Webb, Energy Expert for his wonderful podcast Energy Speaks Back. It was lovely chatting with Paul and being part of it – No.24! If you missed our discussion on how Tales from Mother Earth is making a difference, our journey and what this means to us, you can catch it here.

We thank Helen Rogers of Highgate Honey for bringing you today’s guest blog on Feeding the Bees.

Feeding the Bees.

In the UK we have about 270 different types of bee. Most of these are solitary bees, 27 are bumble bees and we have 1 type of honeybee. The different types of bee are all various shapes and sizes – the biggest are the large furry bumbles and the smallest  are similar in size to a grain of rice. Flowers are absolutely essential for the survival of bees. Bees need pollen and nectar for nourishment and to feed to the larvae that develop into adult bees. Plants need bees to pollinate their flowers to produce fruit and seeds. Humans rely on these fruits and seeds to keep our bodies healthy and strong.

Some bees are extremely particular about which flowers they like to forage on. Other bees are physically unable to feed on certain plants – their tongue may be too short to reach where the flower stores the nectar, or their body may be too big to fit inside the flower.

If we want to help Phoebe the Bee and her bee friends to thrive, then it is really important that we plant a good range of different flowers to accommodate as many types of bee as possible, wherever we can. At this time of the year, honeybees and bumblebees are busy collecting pollen from flowers like crocuses and snowdrops. This is the protein needed to raise their brood. Later in the year they require a lot of nectar for energy from flowers like borage and lime trees. 

The tricky part for gardeners is picking which plants are going to be the best for bees and will also look good and grow well in a particular garden. We have produced a small book, “80 Flowers for Bees” which is a collaboration between a beekeeper and a horticulturalist to help take the guesswork out of choosing suitable flowers. We’ve put in detailed information about when plants flower, what type of soil they like, how big they grow and why they are good for bees. If you’d like to buy a copy, please head over to our website shop: www.highgatehoney.com/shop

Last autumn we started a project to convert the front lawn at our house into a flower garden for bees. In the past we had let dandelions and clover grow and flower in the grass, but we decided that we could do so much more. Late last year we covered the whole lawn with a layer of card, then a layer of compost. This is a brilliant, chemical free, way of killing the grass. Next we poked holes through the card and planted loads of bulbs which are flowering now. It is exciting to see that bees are already foraging on the flowers that we are growing. In a few weeks time, once the chance of frosts has passed, we will scatter a mix of seeds over the area. We’ve picked seeds that will grow into plants whose flowers bees love – We can’t wait to see the results! We hope that our transformation will inspire other people in the neighbourhood to plant more bee friendly flowers.

If you’d like to follow the progress of our lawn to flower garden project, then please follow us on Instagram (@highgatehoney) and join our Facebook group – Plants that Bees Love.

 

Recently our co-founder Jenny Bailey was asked to write blog for Little Wild Tales on the importance of ‘Re-wilding Childhood’.

It gives us great pleasure to share this with you here.

Our thanks to Ivelina Borislavova who runs Mother Nature Loves You, a lifestyle and food blog for the opportunity for our co-founder and author Jenny, to write a guest blog for her website.

“Many times, as a parent I’ve made up stories with my children, as I’m sure we all have. Invariably, all of mine have featured animals.

Here I share the importance of storytelling and how I believe this simple act can transform lives.”

Recently we joined Aaron Moskowitz on his ‘Get In my Garden’ podcast to share our thoughts

on how connecting with nature greatly benefits us all ….especially children.

We hope you enjoy listening to our discussion here.

 

It was a pleasure and a joy to participate in the #YouthClimateSummit2020 and share our story workshop Phoebe the Bee – teaching children about the vital role bees and the other pollinators play in our world.

Here is the celebration video marking the event, where over five themed days, thousands of schools came together to join 163 sessions, from 50 organisations all making pledges and calls on the government and businesses for action to Transform our World.

Also, the music is lovely and it’s provided by #sosfromthechildren

Jamie Sneddon, Experienced Field Biologist/Ecologist, Munlochy, Scotland
My earliest memories of being obsessed with animals involve watching the Lion King. I still
have the VHS, but you would see mostly static if you tried to watch it, thanks to countless
hours of watching and rewinding. As I grew up, I would get myself into trouble in primary
school by collecting ladybirds, slaters and worms in my pencil case and taking them with me
into the classroom. I was clearly a biologist at heart from a young age, obsessed with animals
and desperate to learn everything I could about them. David Attenborough documentaries
highlighted the incredible animals around the globe and fed my obsession for wildlife
knowledge. As an adult, little has changed. I now radio collar red squirrels and track the
activities of Scottish wildcats for a living. David Attenborough is still my hero and the Lion
King has never lost its appeal. I’ve managed to stop collecting insects in pencil cases but that
was probably for the best…
Where I am now is a culmination of all the inspirations I had growing up. I loved animals but
without a constant stream of information from books, documentaries, and inspirational people
I likely wouldn’t be where I am today. The same applies to children today. However, they
have new challenges to contend with. The rise of technology has led to a greater disconnect
with the natural world. While more disconnected, children must also deal with the doom and
gloom of modern science. When I was a child recycling wasn’t common, having a massive
collection of plastic bags under the kitchen sink was normal. People liked bees but didn’t
fully understand their real value. In general, the average person didn’t have a full
understanding of their impact on the natural world. Things are different now. Children are
being taught to recycle, plant bee-friendly flowers in their gardens and raise money for
rainforest conservation. The next generation is primed to make up for all the mistakes of
previous generations but it’s a heavy burden to bear.
A lot of my wildlife-friendly choices have only been learned as an adult. Through education
at a young age, children are now growing up with the knowledge I acquired in my early
twenties. Books like ‘Phoebe the bee’ could lead to a generation of children that all grow up
to have bee-friendly gardens. Further than that, it could ignite a passion that then grows and
spreads into different disciplines. Children that grow up to become engineers, doctors, and
chefs that all have a deep appreciation for the natural world are what we need to promote
change on a global scale. The possibilities are endless and they can all start with one
inspirational book.
Connect to Jamie via LinkedIn.
Little Jamie, during his Primary School trouble making days.
Our huge thanks to Jamie, for taking the time to be our first guest blogger. Keep up the amazing work you’re doing.