A good supply of pollen is essential to a honeybee colony because…
… despite its complexity, bees cannot live on honey alone. While the sugars in honey supply their energy needs, in addition they require protein, minerals and trace elements. Pollen is the source of these but like all things dietary – bees need variety as well as quantity.
We all tend to have a knee-jerk reaction when we see a field of ragwort. Most of us regard it as a squalid poisonous weed which spreads like wildfire and until recently it would be difficult to find anyone with a good word for it. But why is that and where does it come from? Continue reading We need to talk about ragwort→
Everytime you see a severed stump, or more commonly a row of severed stumps like this – imagine the lovely flowering trees that once stood there and ask yourself who could do such a thing and more importantly why. Continue reading Irish Hedgerow Destruction→
Towards the end of the season you will probably have observed bright green pollen loads coming in – like this. Please excuse poor photo.
If you ask your local beekeeper, he or she is likely to tell you that it is meadowsweet. However, if you doggedly search the drifts of meadowsweet in your locale for a bee with full pollen baskets, you will see that the pollen they are carrying is actually a creamy yellow. See photo below:
The Heritage Bill, due before the Seanad this week (21st February 2017 ) seems to have nothing at all to do with Heritage other than to extend the period landowners or County Councils can burn, cut, grub or otherwise erase the natural bit from the landscape. That natural bit is the bit our bees rely on.
The picture above is by Vincent Van Gogh (obviously says you), it lives in the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam and is called ‘Wheatfield with Crows’. It was painted in 1890 – possibly his last picture. Vincent didn’t know about climate change or intensive agriculture; if he had, he would probably have cut the other ear off and left the crows out. Continue reading Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020→