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February 21 2010 at 9:08 PM
Jane Tapping 
from IP address

Hello Debs

Very interested in your article about the decline of the bee population. I also have a bit of a "bee" in my bonnet about this. Would you mind if I pinched your idea and list of plants for our parish magazine (I'm the editor so can ride my own hobby horses, if anyone doesnot like it they can do the job, not much chance of that!) There are bees about here but not as many as years ago, did have a swarm trying to set up house in my chimney between the liner and the brick work, had to get rid of them, no! no harm only smoke) I have a lot of lungwort and this is brilliant as it provides an early bite so to speak and last thing in the season are the ivy flowers. Did you get the myrtle berries by the way?


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Debs Cook

Re: Bees

February 23 2010, 10:34 AM 

Hi Jane happy.gif

You certainly can use it so long as you credit it to me and pop a link to the herb society site or mention the Bee Aware! campaign. I'm in the process of reviewing several books that are either directly about bees or feature bees and using bee products. I've got three recipes from the new James Wong book that will eb published next month that are going in the Members Area and a couple more recipes from other books as well, members can read more about this if they've signed up to the new electronic newsletter. Plus there's some more bee and herb information to go up on the site very soon.

Yes I got the myrtle berries, and recommended them as additions to the pepper mill at the MHG earlier this month, I did Myrtle as the Herb of the Month. I've got some myrtle communis seeds which I'll be sowing very soon, it'll be a while until I'll be able to harvest my own berries, so I may be begging more each autumn from you happy.gif We'll have to figure out something I can send you by way of exchange? You can see what I get up to herbally on my blog www.herbal-haven.co.uk/blog and if something intrigues you then you can let me know and I'll send some.

Herby Hugs - Debs happy.gif

Jane Tapping

Bees s s s s s.

February 23 2010, 3:56 PM 

Thanks Debs,

I shall certainly credit you and the Herb Soc in our mag. Have done from time to time especially when I do a piece on herbs. Also hand out society leaflets when it is a suitable talk at garden club. They don't seem to thinks that I'm too potty.
There are still quite a few berries on the myrtle bush even now, but it has been too d... cold etc that I have not been out much. First chance I get I'll pick them and see what they are like, 'Spatlese' do you think? I hope it won't be too long before the weather improves. The rooks in the oak trees down by the brook have started to refurbish and rebuild perhaps they know something we don't. Quite possible


eric makin

Bees. nesting.

March 8 2010, 1:02 PM 

With reference to the decline in bee population. I don,t appear to have noticed in my neck of the woods a reduction in numbers; I can only go by what I am seeing and certainly last year I felt I had a goodly population. Growing a lot of bee attractants does help of course but what I would like to ask is; has anyone ideas on encouraging bees to nest in a particular site without the need of manufactured hives. I would find it difficult to manage bee hives as well as other activities but establishing a colony would be quite challenging I feel.

Lynne Gawn


March 15 2010, 7:01 PM 

Karen lawton


March 17 2010, 6:01 PM 

Hi to you all

My partner Dieter has been busy this week building some bee hives -he has been wanting to keep bees for a couple of yrs now and bewing very thorough and Austrian he has been reading and researching many many nights.

He discovered a book called The Barefoot Beekeeper -(P.J.Chandler) That outlines a simply sustainable appoarch to small scale beekeeping and has decided to follow these principles and build the hives in the Top Bar fashion- these hives look like drinking troughs - the idea is that the bees don't need to be disturbs as much - I am on the outskirts of all this reseach but am extremely excited about the prospect of really getting to know bees better -
We use beeswax and honey in loads of our ointmants n syrups -will be great using our own.

A fantastic book really well written book with a different slant on Bees is The Shamic way of the Bee (Simon Buxton) -This book has led me to doing more Herbal Shamanic journey work with Patients

loads of love
K x

Sarah Head

Re: Bees

March 28 2010, 3:00 PM 

Hi Karen

Thanks for the book information. I bought a copy this week and am looking forward to reading it.

The first bumblebee of the year was seen buzzing around my garden yesterday and I saw her again today - presumably picking up the nectar from the few daffodils, cowslips and primroses which are in blossom now. There's also a little bit of forsythia, but nothing much else at the moment.

One of my apprentices sent me a link to the bumblebee conservation trust bumblebee identification pagehttp://www.bumblebeeconservation.org.uk/Garden_bumblebees.pdf I need to really take some pictures and get everyone identified when I can.


Karen lawton

D's Bees

June 13 2010, 4:14 PM 

Exciting News

Dieter finished off his 'Top Bar Hives and put them out in the fields last weekend with a little lemongrass essential oil in dropped around the entrance, apparently this mimics a scent given off by the bees own homing signal.

Anyhow we have a swarm -it has made itself at home and is happily making comb -we went down yesterday to move it into the bigger hive.

I am getting excited now as to how I am gonna process the wax n propolis etc...

K x

Jane Tapping

Bees s s s s s.

June 14 2010, 6:03 PM 

Hello Karen
That is great, I'm not into bee-keeping my self but I like to plant bee friendly plants (as well as all the herbs of course), I like to see the bees around my soft fruit bushes, lots of lovely jam, jelly, vinegars etc as well as allowing my small grandson to stuff himself with nice fresh fruit. Let's hope that we have a really bee friendly summer

Andy Bell

Bees in our wall

June 16 2010, 7:25 PM 

We have a granite wall attached to the house which has a colony of bees making a home there!
When you put an ear next to the opening you can hear the nest inside sounds very busy!
Last year we had a bee land in our small pool - When I fished it out and put it on the gate post to recover I noticed it was covered in the little mites they suffer with.
What can we do to help and protect the bees that have set up home in our granite wall?
I may start videoing them and posting to YouTube

I too have not noticed a decline in population but more of an increase in numbers the past couple of years!
We live on the edge of Dartmoor in Ashburton!

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