The birds and the bees

Don’t get excited this is not a blog about “50 shades of Grey” or any of the other books in the trilogy. Although I have to say I am enjoying “50 sheds of grey” on Twitter!

There has been another break in the wet weather, which allowed me a couple of solitary hours on the allotment after work. Good job too!

We were rained off on Sunday before I had chance to net some cabbage plants that I had planted. I knew this would turn out to be a mistake. The poor things have been completely stripped by the local birds.

These had 5 or 6 good leaves on them when I put them in on Sunday! Darn pigeons! They treat the whole site like their own mega supermarket!

The other pest I am struggling with a the moment is slugs and that is because it is perfect weather for them in the UK at the moment. I am trying everything to keep on top of them. So far I am using a combination of organic slug pellets (buried under soil so the birds don’t get them), bran (which they are supposed to gorge on and then it swells in their stomach causing them to explode), beer traps (which aren’t very useful in the rain) and nematodes (as yet it is difficult to ascertain how effective these have been). Nothing is stopping them, so suggestions on a comment always welcome!

Good news is that I am finally seeing some flowers for the bees to enjoy. I spotted a red-tailed bee amongst the broad beans while slug hunting. (it has to be said that photographing these bees is no easy task!)

Red tailed bumble bee.

Bee conservation appears to be de rigueur at the moment. Apart from Pooter, which I mentioned a few days ago, I have also had an email from Friends of the Earth to ask if I would sign a petition and spread the word about Bee Cause. The aim is to draw attention to the importance of bees and to press our Prime Minister into calling for a Bee Action Plan. So please sign it if you have a mind.

The Bee Conservation Trust is also calling for help from the public to record bee numbers for a database. Their website is worth a visit. And for balance I ought to mention Plan Bee, which the Co-operative have been running, which is also worth a visit.

So basically I am not the only one slightly obsessed with bees at the moment and if you haven’t realised by now, they are a teensy bit important to us all, so take some time to make a difference please.

I am trying to make a small contribution. I have planted borage next to my strawberry beds. It isn’t flowering yet but I live in hope.

Borage – yet to flower but any minute now………


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