Garden And Gardener

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Archive for the 'Bees' Category

Bee friendly Agastache

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

Agastache Seeds – Liquorice Blue
This first-class variety produces attractive, upright spikes of hooded rose-purple blooms that are a magnet for bees and butterflies. Flowers June-September. Height 60cm (24). Middle of border variety. HP – Hardy perennial.

 An absolutely lovely plant. A friend grew some from seed this year and bought me a pot of it down. Within a minute there was a bee on it exploring it’s delicious nectar. There’s a lovely smell to the plant too. He’s suggested cutting the flowers off and drying them as pot pourri!
Add this to your garden and you’re guaranteed to enjoy both beautiful flowers and more pollinating insects! As with most bee friendly plants it’ll prefer a place in full sun!

Lovely plants and seeds

Cheapest hive tool and smoker in the UK – beekeeper bargains

Monday, June 19th, 2017

You can’t have too many hive tools? Or is that crown boards? Or both!
This is an amazingly low prices hive tool.
Stainless Steel Beehive Tool J Hook Pry Trim Bar Beekeeping Equipment

This is an absolute bargain! If you’ve mistreated your current smoker, or just fancy a shiny new one, or maybe a spare one for your out apiary, then this is a great price!

AllRight Large Bee Smoker Stainless Steel Beekeeping

Beekeeping bargains – gimp pins

Monday, June 19th, 2017

100g BUZZ Beehive Beekeeping Gimp pins / Frame nails

Price: £3.50 FREE UK delivery.


Sold by Simon the beekeeper

What do I put in a hive to catch some bees?

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

How to bait a hive to catch bees
If you have access to a frame of old brood comb, that is clean, disease free and without any honey or pollen in, then you can add this to your bait hive. New beekeepers won’t have any of this so will have to rely on a swarm lure.

You can buy them in tiny phials from various bee equipment companies, but you can also use lemongrass oil. But you have to get the right one!
You want Cymbopogon Citratus!


Buy this lemongrass oil at amazon

Don’t use honey or comb with honey in. This will not bring a swarm in but will encourage bees to rob the comb and potentially carry disease back to their own hive.
You need to have a bait hive of the right size for the bees to want to make it a home. Tom Seeley says 40l, a couple of meters up off the ground, with a 15cm2 entrance at the bottom of the cavity. Used comb inside helps entice bees as mentioned above, and it should be dry inside. A purpose built box will work. My husband made me a bait box using scaffold boards – it’s very heavy! But it worked. We made some top bars rather than leave frames in for the bees to build on.
It’d spent the winter in my shed on my allotment and I was planning on taking it to the mother-in-law’s house to put on her flat roofed garage. In the meantime it sat on my compost bin made of pallets and one Saturday I had a call from a plot holder about bee activity. A swarm was in the process of moving in as I got there! Amazing!

Bees scout out potential homes. They come on their own to start and if they investigate inside and out, and like it they go and tell other bees via dances. They recruit other bees who also come and check it out. Shortly before they move in the activity can get quite frantic.

Sometimes bees will fight over a potential home.

Cheapest bee smoker

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

I’ve spotted this at amazon – it’s the cheapest smoker I’ve seen.

  • Stainless Steel construction. Means it won’t rust and can be soaked in washing soda solution (not the bellows!) to clear ir.
  • Fire Guard. Protective safety guard to help prevent burns. Useful! But still get a bucket to keep it in – a metal one! 
  • Perforated base plate which can be removed for easier cleaning. And you should do this every so often!
  • 11 inches (28cm) tall and 4 inches (10 cm) diameter smoke chamber.
  • Leather bellows with clip. 

I lost the clip off my first smoker within a couple of weeks of starting beekeeping. My smoker is still going strong though.
I have a bundle of newspaper sheets neatly folded up in my bee box. This allows me to take one sheet off, shred it and then light this. I can then apply whatever I am currently burning. I have a bucket of last year’s pine cones and a big plastic sweet jar of sawdust available to me. You gently place some fuel in and puff the bellows until it roars. Once that’s happened add some more fuel – and it’ll smoke nicely when you put the lid on. If you do it right then it’ll stay lit for ages. Sawdust can be gently packed in, but pine cones need to have extras added if you’re staying in the apiary a while. Always have spare fuel with you and check your smoker between hives – not half way through!

Great British Bee Count

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

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 

Useful beekeeping booklets for free

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

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

Beekeeping in Manchester, Oldham and Tameside

Monday, March 6th, 2017

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
he 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.

3d printer mouseguard

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

My husband has got a 3d printer and what better use than something for the bees?
3d printer mouseguard

It’s a prototype, so we are giving it some field trials at the moment and need to test how well it stays in. It just has pegs on the back that go through the entrance.

Bees on sweetcorn pollen

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

We’ve not noticed it before, but this year the sweetcorn pollen has been attracting honey bees!