Great British Bee Count (19 May-30 June 2017). This year’s app is even better, with more bees and plant species, clearer identification and more information on how to help bees. The bee sightings will be mapped onwww.greatbritishbeecount.co.uk
Archive for the 'Bees' Category
Wally Shaw is a beekeeper on Anglesey who has produced some rather useful booklets!
They’re available at the WBKA library page
Absolute classic is There Are Queen Cells In My Hive Wally Shaw
A new group has been set up for beekeepers in Oldham, Manchester and Tameside.
The group is known as Medlock bka – and their website is available here – Medlock Bees
The group has beekeepers from Chadderton, Failsworth, New Moston, Droylsden, Sholver, or any part of Manchester, Oldham and Tameside then please click the link and find out more.
We’ve not noticed it before, but this year the sweetcorn pollen has been attracting honey bees!
Bee trail technologists make inventive use of physical web beacon prototype technology to enable community activism
The Honey Club, a partnership between King’s Cross-based youth charity Global Generation, Urban Bess and Wolff Olins, launches the 2016 King’s Cross (KX) Bee Trail App.
This citizen science project brought to life as an app-led walking tour of King’s Cross is designed to raise awareness of this fast-changing area of London; in particular the bees living there and the food and shelter they need.
There are eight stops along the KX Bee Trail, each marked with a Honey Club sign that’s powered by innovative technology. At each of the stops a beacon unlocks a new part of the app and accesses a new activity. At some locations participants are invited to learn something new about bees, at others they can take part in a bee count.
Activities unlock vouchers to some of London’s most exciting restaurants: the German Gymnasium, The Lighterman, Dishoom, The Grain Store, Caravan, The Greek Larder, Rotunda, and The Skip Garden Kitchen.
Multiple studies* show that bee numbers and their distribution are in decline globally, which will have serious implications for food production and our ecological system.
Nicole Van den Eijnde from Global Generation says: “Getting up close with bees in the middle of the city is a great way for young people to understand that we are part of an interconnected world. They move from being afraid of bees to realising how important they are and as a result this makes them want to give something back.”
More about the Bee Trail
The trail now starts at the German Gymnasium near the bird cage sculpture** on King’s Boulevard and ends a short walk away at The Skip Garden; factoring in time for the activities, it should take no more than 60 minutes to complete.
Anyone can follow the trail, track the bees, and discover hidden worlds at the heart of one of the world’s busiest cities. And by counting bees at points along the trail they will be contributing to the collection of important data. This year, as part of the expanded trail, there is new content that explains different forage and bee facts, and new vouchers to enjoy from restaurant partners.
Alison Benjamin, co-founder of Urban Bees comments, “The data will help the Honey Club to add to local information about the diversity and abundance of different bee species in King’s Cross, and to educate people about the forage they need to thrive. The data in the long term could show us if our efforts to raise awareness and provide more food are having a positive impact on bee populations.”
“The King’s Cross Bee Trail App is a wonderful and engaging way of communicating the importance of bees and their role in pollinating the food we eat here in the city,” adds Wolfgang Buttress, artist and creator of award-winning bee-powered sculpture The Hive, currently installed at Kew Gardens.
An earlier version of the app was successfully piloted in August 2015. People who downloaded the app did more than 300 bee counts at three locations. The most common bees spotted were honeybees, followed by buff-tailed bumblebee and the common carder bee. In total more than 1,100 bees were counted. The information was shared with Greenspace Information for Greater London***, the capital’s environmental records centre.
From idea to reality the app took technologists at creative consultancy Wolff Olins six weeks to develop.
The App uses the physical web beacon technology, to push content to your smart device via Bluetooth; enhancing app-users’ physical experience of the trail with digitally provided information and perks.
Caroline Goodwin, from Wolff Olins’ tech team comments, “Many applications of beacon technology, in retail, casinos etc., can be pretty invasive and irritating – no one likes to receive push notification about offers they’re not interested in! We have used beacon technology to enhance users’ experience and make a positive impact in society. We see a big opportunity to use this tech in similarly positive ways in other contexts; museums, county councils and property developments for example.”
The Bee Trail app is available to download for iPhone or Android phones atwww.beetrail.co.uk.
About The Honey Club
The Honey Club is a partnership of Global Generation, Urban Bees and Wolff Olins with a mission to create a bee caring community in urban spaces – from rooftop to garden, hive to street, business to people.
We’re a team of designers, technologists, community activists, young people, journalists, beekeepers and gardeners who are working creatively to take on one big, sticky problem: the lack of nectar and pollen from blooming plants for bees to forage in urban environments like our home in King’s Cross.
The Honey Club is supported by members like Eurostar; interested businesses should email firstname.lastname@example.org to join.
They do a lovely skep at Omlet. My husband bought me one as an alternative to sing a cardboard box for collecting swarms. It is great to use and works every time!
Great queen marking video
A friend has got a beehive in my apiary and I’ve been going out when they do their inspections.
Yesterday she pulled a frame out and spotted the queen instantly!
Can you see her?
The queen bee is the mother of all the bees in the hive. She can lay a massive 2500 eggs a day at peak. The majority of these will turn into worker bees with a few percent being drones.
The queen is visibly bigger than the other bees. She looks so easy to see once you’ve seen her you wonder how you ever missed her.
They can be quite hard to spot though.
The idea is to mark them with special paint so they stand out more clearly. There is a special colour code. This year is green. The code is WYRGB. Remember it as What?! you raise great bees! White, yellow, red, green, blue.
However I hadn’t taken my queen marking kit out yesterday to mark her so we just took a photo or two instead and then Angela carefully put the frame back in the hive.
A queen is essential to your hive – without one the bees will not survive as they can not make new bees. If they have eggs laid they can make a new queen. This takes 16 days from the egg being laid in the bottom of a honeycomb cell. It is fed lots of royal jelly which is a milky white substance and after 8 days it is capped. Queen cells are bigger than worker cells: the reason why is obvious when you see the size difference. The new queen then hatches after 16 days.
If there is still a queen in the hive then she will swarm as the bees cap the cell taking a large number of bees with her off to find a new home.
You can buy his book here at Amazon Honeybee Democracy
it’s a brilliant read for anyone interested in bees and will help you make and place the ideal bait box. Honeybees make decisions collectively–and democratically. Every year, faced with the life-or-death problem of choosing and traveling to a new home, honeybees stake everything on a process that includes collective fact-finding, vigorous debate, and consensus building. In fact, as world-renowned animal behaviorist Thomas Seeley reveals, these incredible insects have much to teach us when it comes to collective wisdom and effective decision making. A remarkable and richly illustrated account of scientific discovery, Honeybee Democracy brings together, for the first time, decades of Seeley’s pioneering research to tell the amazing story of house hunting and democratic debate among the honeybees.
In the late spring and early summer, as a bee colony becomes overcrowded, a third of the hive stays behind and rears a new queen, while a swarm of thousands departs with the old queen to produce a daughter colony. Seeley describes how these bees evaluate potential nest sites, advertise their discoveries to one another, engage in open deliberation, choose a final site, and navigate together–as a swirling cloud of bees–to their new home. Seeley investigates how evolution has honed the decision-making methods of honeybees over millions of years, and he considers similarities between the ways that bee swarms and primate brains process information. He concludes that what works well for bees can also work well for people: any decision-making group should consist of individuals with shared interests and mutual respect, a leader’s influence should be minimized, debate should be relied upon, diverse solutions should be sought, and the majority should be counted on for a dependable resolution.
An impressive exploration of animal behavior, Honeybee Democracy shows that decision-making groups, whether honeybee or human, can be smarter than even the smartest individuals in them.
My bait box worked this year.
My bait box was made last year for placing in a church yard where there were bees. We didn’t catch a swarm and the box ended up in my shed over winter. In spring I needed the room in my allotment shed and so shoved the box out on to the sides of the compost bin next to the shed. I was planning on taking it to my in laws garden to put on their flat roof garage but one Saturday morning I had a call from Andy on the allotment telling me there were bees going in to the bait box. I went out and sure enough, bees were moving in! There’s no sign of eggs yet which is a worry but I am still hopeful and will be inspecting them again very soon.