A Buzz in the Garden, Gardening for Bees by Richard Rickitt

Richard is the editor of Beecraft and keeps around 30 of his own hives and is the beekeeper at Westonbirt where he teaches beekeeping courses.

His lively and informative talk made us think about the summer ahead and the overwintering queen bees that wake mid February to establish a nest.

A new colony begins and collect pollen for the production of honey.

Plants we can grow to attract bees include blue and purple species, single flowers as doubles are difficult to reach and growing larger clumps of each is useful.   Early flowering snowdrops, mahonia, hellebores and crocus.  Later on wallflowers, salvias lavender, rosemary, nepeta, bugle, foxgloves, wild strawberries and hardy geraniums are good too.

Avoiding pesticides is necessary and farmers use excessive amounts adding to the loss of habitats for our bees. We should ask our local councils to grow more bee friendly plants and trees.

As individuals we can make a difference in our own gardens and letting some areas grow wild is a way to help our bees.