Sunday, 26 May 2013


How to help bees in East Devon:

Spotlight on Bees
Since appearing on BBC Spotlight on Wednesday 8 May, the Countryside team has received numerous requests from members of the public for bee box kits and advice on attracting solitary bees to their gardens. Species such as the Red Mason Bee and the Leafcutter Bee will lay their eggs in the boxes, which are easy to make using the instructions provided by the Countryside Rangers. Most people are now aware of the decline in our bee population, and its adverse effect on the pollination of flowers and fruit trees, and the response from the East Devon public, who are keen to do their bit for the bees, has been very encouraging. If you would like to order a bee box kit, (cost £7.50 with instructions) please contact the Countryside team on 01395 517557 or email countryside@eastdevon.gov.uk

Thanks to:
Claire Wright - Your Independent East Devon District Councillor for Ottery Rural

At last week's Chelsea Flower Show, bee hotels were the rage:

Amy Curtis, a finalist in the “fresh talent garden design competition”, has created an “urban bee hotel”. Set among flowering plants, she has drilled small holes into pieces of wood, which are the perfect size for solitary bees to lay their eggs. “Solitary bees don’t live in hives, but they’re responsible for 90 per cent of pollination of plants and flowers in the UK,” she said. “I wanted to show how you can do something in an urban environment to help bees, and make it look beautiful as well.”
Solitary bees, which don’t sting and are harmless, lay their larva in the holes, then cover them up with mud. The new bees hatch and make their way out. In the couple of days the “hotel” has been installed at the show, quite a few bees have already been born.

"I loved the Fresh Gardens mini-garden stands – this is a detail from The Urban Bee Hotel by Amy Curtis featuring some lovely sedum."
Chelsea Flower Show 2013 | Ursula's Cambridge Garden

More ideas from the RHS and the Chelsea Flower Show:
Plants for pollinators / RHS Gardening

Make a bee hotel
Honeybee numbers are falling, so by giving them a home you'll be encouraging nature into your garden and helping bee populations.
What you'll need
A terracotta plant pot (9 – 15cm in size)
Modelling clay
Plastic straws or bamboo canes
What to do
1. Cut the straws or bamboo canes to a length that fits the depth of your pot. If you are using bamboo canes you will need a grown – up to carry out this part as it’s tricky.
2. Tie the bundle of straws or canes together with a piece of string.
3. Place some modelling clay in the bottom of the pot and stick the bundle of straws or canes in to the clay.
4. Place the pot horizontally in your garden in a quiet place for the bees to move in.

 And to finish in East Devon:

The Beekeeper and The Bee by Kate Lynch

Exhibition: Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Honiton:
11 May to 29 June 2013
‘The Beekeeper and the Bee’ – an exhibition by popular Somerset based artist Kate Lynch – is the culmination of nearly three years spent shadowing local beekeepers and their swarms. Expressive charcoal drawings and atmospheric oil paintings chronicle the seasonal work of beekeepers, from the first opening of the hive in spring, through busy summer, with the capture of the swarm and the spinning of honey, into busy sheds in winter, and the weaving of a bee skep.
Portraits of beekeepers are interspersed with paintings of bees foraging on hedgerows, flowers, crops and blossom. Most of the drawings and paintings on show will be for sale. 

[Opening The Hive by Kate Lynch, above] 
The artworks are accompanied by conversations with beekeepers recorded in text and sound which play in the gallery. Signed copies of the accompanying book ‘The Beekeeper and The Bee’ will be on sale in the gallery shop at £15 each.

[Bee on Snowdrop by Kate Lynch, right] 
Thelma Hulbert: New Acquisitions A fresh display of works by Thelma Hulbert recently acquired from RAMM, Exeter, will also be shown upstairs at the gallery for the duration of this exhibition. This will include some of Thelma’s Seascape paintings. Free Family Drop-in ‘Bees and Flowers’ Workshop with Kate Lynch at THG Thursday 30 May,11am-4pm.  All welcome. Children to be accompanied by an adult. Free admission but donations welcomed. All donations help to support the THG learning and exhibition programme. Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Elmfield House, Dowell Street, Honiton EX14 ILX www.thelmahulbert.com 
* info@thelmahulbert.com  (01404 45006) 
10am–5pm, Tuesday – Saturday, Free Admission


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