Tag Archive | bees

In a field near me – July 2014 – these are the plots.



The view above shows the approach to the first of the meadow plots, which has been called ‘A’. From this angle the first plot gives a pleasing view of what may be ‘things to come’.

The ten meadow plots are experimental. They have been sown with a variety of native grasses and flowers, many of which are bi-ennial (i.e. flowering in the second year after planting). If you look back at the pictures I took last year, you will be able to see the difference a year makes.

The plots are part of a major research project into improving urban biodiversity.

Luton Borough Council staff are cultivating a variety of seed mixes at this site and managing the meadows using different mowing frequencies. Researchers from Cranfield, Sheffield and Exeter Universities are monitoring the sites.

Here is the first of the plots up close:



and the second (B). At first siting I didn’t like this one very much. It is brown(ish). After I’d studied it for a while, I decided I did like it after all but I wouldn’t want to see a whole field full of it. Of course that is not the idea. When the designers take over, there will be areas of planting and areas of mown grass because the object of the exercise is to create an urban environment which is beautiful and useful to people, animals and insects alike.

Plot B is mainly grasses, as you can see:



Next is plot C. This looked like a weed patch to me and I wouldn’t want to see more of it. However I’m sure there are plenty of insects who would not agree with me.

One of the considerations being taken into account is whether or not the plots are likely to attract unwelcome wildlife and/or litter. I think this one would welcome litter!



Plot D I thought was very nice. The plants were not too high, lots of variety, colourful and certainly popular with bees and flying insects. So plot D got the thumbs up from me.



Plot E on the other hand, was not attractive. Again it looked like a weed path; bearing in mind that a weed is just a prolific plant in the wrong place. Most of the plants in this plot were going to seed. There wasn’t much colour to be seen and I think litter would easily blow into it.



Plot F was a nothing sort of plot. I don’t know if that was deliberate, but I wouldn’t be surprised. I didn’t think it was an improvement on just mown grass.



Plot G was my favourite. It was bursting with colour and interest. On the downside the plants were big – taller than me, some of them and I’m 5 ft. 6 inches tall. A whole field of this selection would look gorgeous but be totally impractical I think.



Plot H was another no-no to me. Another weed patch in the making although there were some rather attractive field poppies in there. I think they had sown themselves.

DSCF1984When I counted the number of plants in each plot, I found that there were an average of six different varieties in each plot. I don’t know if that was deliberate but it probably was intended.

The intention is to cut all the plots down to ground level at the end of the summer.  This will encourage new and healthy growth to come in the new season.

So there we are. I may take some more pics before the end of the summer, but I doubt if they would be much different. If anything new happens, I’ll let you know.

Enjoy your environment as much as you can for as long as you can.



Update to the Bee March


Following on from my last post, here is a link to the Bbc.co.uk site report on the Bee March. I thought you might like to see it and hear what the representatives were saying. Please tell me if the link doesn’t work. I think you should be able to watch the short videos on the news over here in England but I would like to know if you can’t.

I hope that the march was successful. I’ll hear more in the future.

How are the bees doing in your neck of the woods?

ps: in the picture today, you can see a bee on a teasel plant. I grow these in my cottage garden mainly for the bees because they love it, but also for the greenfinches, chaffinches and goldfinches who come in the winter and love the seeds.


Save Our Bees


I don’t usually post on campaigns etc. I’m not a militant person, but this one is important. There are problems with our bees not only here in England, but in other parts of the world too. Without bees we are lost, it’s as simple as that. Lots of research has been done and I’m not going into that here, but I wanted to ask you to sign the petition as outlined in the following message from 38 degrees. It is going to be put into No. 10 Downing Street this week and it is asking the government to ban the use of pesticides, which are having a detrimental effect on our wildlife.

There is also a march on Friday, but I can’t go to that. I am looking after my grandson. I will be there in spirit. If you aren’t doing anything on Friday and you feel so inclined, please go for me and for the bees.

38 Degrees Logo
Dear Stella,With just 6 days to go before the big European vote on bee killer pesticides, there’s been some breaking news.

Bulgaria had been lining up alongside the UK to block a ban on these pesticides. But yesterday, after beekeepers from across the nation marched through the capital, Bulgaria’s minister for agriculture, Ivan Stankov, changed his mind. Bulgaria will now vote for a ban. [1]

We need Owen Paterson, our own environment minister, to follow suit.

So, this Friday 38 Degrees is teaming up with a whole host of other organisations to march on parliament and stage our very own March of the Beekeepers. [2]

Can you come along to the demonstration?

38 Degrees members will be meeting at:
10:30am this Friday 26th April
The statue of Churchill in Parliament Square, London.

You don’t have to be a beekeeper! You can come dressed as one, or as a bee or just come as yourself: bring fruit, flowers, friends and big smiles.

We’re joining forces with Avaaz, Buglife, Environmental Justice Foundation, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Pesticide Action Network UK, RSPB, and the Soil Association to show the environment minister how important the protection of our bees is to us.

Are you able to come along on Friday? Obviously not everyone will be able to make it. A small group of 38 Degrees members will be delivering the 250,000-strong petition – which includes your signature – direct to Owen Paterson tomorrow. So you will be there in spirit either way. Together we’ll keep up the pressure.

Thanks for being involved,

Megan, Robin, Maddy & the 38 Degrees team

PS: Sharing is caring:
Facebook: https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/bees-facebook
Twitter: https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/bees-twitter

PPS: Can you make it on Friday, or know others who might be able to? Join and share the event on Facebook:

[1] Novinite: Bulgaria to back EU Moratorium on Bee-Harming Neonicotinoids:
[2] Environmental Justice Foundation: March of the Beekeepers: