With Wimbledon out of the way, it’s possible to envisage strawberries, the quintessential summer fruit, without a dollop of cream. A simple pleasure for us, they’re jolly hard work for bees!
Beekeeping is a hands-on job: all of the senses are engaged when working with bees: touch, smell, hearing, vision and finally, most delightfully, taste. It is a truly immersive craft.
It’s that time of year again. Rasping throats, bunged-up noses and streaming eyes: the hay fever season has arrived. And Silver Birch is its harbinger.
It seems a bit mimsy to be posting about the planting of a single bronze fennel root in our Leathermarket Gardens edible planting border. The point is that it’s incremental.
Despite the hirsute and rough-hewn appearance of many motor-bikers, they have a legendary attachment to the motorcycles which they ride. So it is with beekeepers (the “hirsute and rough-hewn” description only applies to the males of the species, obviously) and the deep affection which they have for their bees.
NEW ROOFTOP PLANTING GUIDE
Just in time for Spring, we’ve posted our new guide to Bee-Friendly Rooftop Planting. You can download it here.
The guide’s been expertly researched and written for us by London-based garden designer Jane Finlay. Jane trained at Kew and was recently a finalist in the Society of Garden Design Student Award. Massive thanks to Jane for her inspiring urban forage suggestions. You can find out more about her distinctive approach to garden design at janefinlay.london.
The saddest sight a beekeeper can see is a huddle of dead bees, heads thrust deep inside empty wax cells, with the queen dead in the middle. And the wretched thing is that they had starved just an inch away from a broad, golden arc of honey. This phenomenon is called “Isolation Starvation“.
I didn’t realise when we posed for this picture that Marie Laure Legroux and I were making an impromptu version of the French tricolore: Blue, White and Red. There’s selfie solidarity for you!
In the last week of November, with the bees all safely tucked up for winter, I had two speaking engagements. One was in rural Suffolk and the other in gritty Hackney. Each addressed a very different topic. The first was to an audience of fellow beekeepers, the second to a bevy of young food and drink entrepreneurs. The theme of the initial talk was a genteel one: “Preparing Honey For Show”, while the next was the fire-branding: “Bees Can’t Eat Kind Words”.