Ann's Farm Journal

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Early Bees

Early Bees

Hello Everyone,

Hope you are all good. I am wondering if you have heard the buzzing of the bees this last week? I certainly have and I have seen some buzzing along the grass and also many inside the polytunnels. To entice the bees into the tunnels we leave some of our overwintering plants to ‘go to seed’ resulting in some beautiful yellow flowers (see photo). The bees are attracted to the flower and enjoy a delicious meal of early pollen. The bees will then be available to help pollinate future crops we will sow or plant out in the tunnels and around the outside growing area.

The food we eat is soooo dependent on the bees pollinating the crops we grow. All plants need to be pollinated (think- naughty bits for plants). The pollen from the male part of the plant is collected by a bee or other insects and dropped onto the female part of other plants. This fertilisation of the plant produces the fruit and the seeds which will feed us and create another plant…it’s baby.

Some plants are classed as ‘self pollinators’ which means that the plant can pass on the pollen from the mail part to the female part all on its own. The wind may help with this task…I don’t mean the gale force wind we seem to endure regularly… but a breeze can blow the pollen from flower to flower. Wheat, oats and barley are a prime example of this method.

Our crops generally need a helping hand to pollinate. So, to see and hear early bees is very welcome. The bees will continue to be our noisy aid along with many butterflies, birds, bats, beetles and probably the field mice. These little creatures play the most important task in the grand scheme of life as we know it. Never underestimate them as it is generally thought that they are responsible for every third mouthful of food we consume. Well done Mother Nature! Again!

So, if you find a hungry or distressed bee or bug give them a helping hand. When I notice one struggling I may place them onto a flower or plant. I may just provide some sugared water. They help us to survive…we should do the same for them.

Fingers crossed that you and ourselves have no damage due to the latest storm. 

Thank you for your continued support,

Take care,