Stalbridge Garden Society produce a newsletter each month. Here is the May 2018 edition...
Tony Moore our chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting, he gave out the notices and introduced this month’s speaker who was Neil Lovesy from “Pickett lane” nursery.
Neil is always a fountain of knowledge, this evening his talk was entitled “Bee Friendly Garden”, Neil explained to us all about the many different species of bee.
There are carder bees, bufftail bees, red tail, white tail, colony bees, a tree bee which nests in bird boxes, mining bees, leaf cutter bees, solitary bees, ground bees which quite often make their home in an old mouse nest.
There are hundreds more, but also there is the “Asian bee”, this is a cross breed, which, comes with a virus that attaches itself to our native bees, and it kills them.
There is also the cooko bee which lays its egg in a bumble bee nest when the young hatch, they feed on the native bumble bees offspring, the giant hornet will destroy as many bumble bee nests as it can find, so this is some of the reasons why are bees are in decline.
The native “Queen bee” will lay her own body weight in eggs every day, whilst the female worker bees look after her, the males or drone bees just try to take all of the food!
Neil showed us slides of his hives and explained to us how you would go about building one in layers, so that the bees could make the most of the space inside.
We saw lots of pictures of bees collecting pollen, producing the wax cells, in which they put the nectar, how the bees feed their young.
He showed us how to make somewhere for the bees to hibernate, using bamboo, and how it is good to have flowering plants, in the garden from January onwards, even the humble snowdrop is a good source of pollen.
Wasps, they are also a garden friendly creature, because they will feed on , aphids, greenfly, they will finds lots of garden pests and get rid of these for you, but they are however addicted to sugar!
Hornets are not a garden friendly visitor.
Neil finished by showing us lots of plants which are great for bees, such as, capitulums, umbelifors, buddleias, daises, and lots more.
We then had the opportunity to buy some of these plants from Neil.
This was a fantastic talk, and made us all really think about our native bee family.
Tony thanked Neil for coming, and then reminded everyone about out “plant and jumble sale” on Saturday.
The next meeting is on Thursday 14th June, 7.30pm in the hall
The talk is “Growing Your Own” with Castle Gardens so do come and join us.
I have just heard from Carolyn our new treasurer that we have made over £400 at the plant and jumble sale which is fantastic thank you to everyone who helped out and donated all of the items. There was a good turn out, and it was lovely to see our previous chairman Brian Spiller there.
Enjoy your garden this time of year it gets very busy, but just made time to stop sit out in the garden with a cup of tea!