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More bad news for our bees.

I guess that most of us know that things have been pretty grim for bees in the UK and here's further confirmation.
I'm not a bee keeper but I know that the poor results in my apple orchards this year are due in the main to the lack of bees and pollinators. We've got to help our bees, because otherwise, we'll be completely stuffed.
This year, we planted lots of wildflowers and bee frindly plants, next year, we're going to plant many more.

I have had to feed 2 of my 3 colonies this summer as the foraging from June through till a week or so ago was poor, but I have to say that in the last 10 days they have been stocking in the honey, but, as I always leave them with at least 1 full super of stores to see them through, I will not be taking any honey off.
The reason I have the bees is not for the honey - its for the pollination.  This year I have enough apples and pears - they(the bees) had a good spring and were out pollinating no problem.  

The trouble is that bees are the new hobby and people dont do enough training before getting them, then they dont really look after them enough.
Ive been really hands-on with them this year and have seen 3 mating flights, watched bees hatch out, and have had 3 training sessions here for a lot of new people who I then found mentors for.

It has been really bad here too. Summer feeding etc but now the Balsam is in flower they are really packing it away, but I dont think we will get any honey this year from any of our hives.

Bees in Anatolia

These are not local people and they are only here for a few months - they move around wherever there is pollen for the bees.  They were here in the Spring and have now gone, but are sure to appear again next year. We buy it by the 'frame'.

Are all those hives yours Melek?

Bees hives

No, not our's - the beekeepers live a type of itinerant lifestyle; moving where they know they should find food for their bees.  My father-in-law used to keep a colony but not in this style of hive.  He used to create a large cylindrical type of roll, starting off with sticks about a metre long, then rolling it up with old canvas tarpaulin, finished off with a covering of mud which dried off and looked a bit like clay.  It was successful for a while but an exceptionally cold winter killed them off I think.  I did not see him make it but thats what it looked like and how it was explained to me.  This is very much a make do & mend community !! lol !

I don't keep bees but I always get a good lot of them on my lavender - they've been a bit slow in turning up this year but there's a fair few on it at the moment.  My friend across the road has set up a bee feeder too as she's noticed a distinct lack of them this year too.

we have a few on our early flowers and have seen some Bumble Bees around so very pleased about that as well  

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