Becoming a beekeeper – no matter where you live – has many advantages. If you keep honeybees you will be helping their population, helping them pollinate the plants in your garden and you will be rewarded with honey!
Urban beekeeping doesn’t have to be difficult or take up a lot of your time. There are lots of products that can help you make your garden more bee-friendly.
Urban Beekeeping by Craig Hughes
This is the book for aspiring beekeepers who don’t live in the countryside. Bees can be kept on rooftops, at an allotment or in your back garden.
The book takes you through beekeeping season by season, as well as giving advice on buying all the equipment you will need. Craig Hughes has been a beekeeper for 30 years and his expertise and enthusiasm shine through.
Available from Friends of the Earth at £5.99
Friends of the Earth also have some great articles and research on bees, especially on how they are affected by GM crops.
A bee station is the perfect, low maintenance way of keeping the bees in your garden happy. This bee station is hand-made by a pottery in Stoke-on-Trent so supports British industry as well as our bees.
It’s designed to sit amongst the plants in your flowerbed and provides a space for two species of bee to rest and refuel. Just fill the holes with a sugary drink to provide sustenance for your bees.
Available from The Green Hub at £39.99
Live Red Mason Bee Cocoons
If you are having trouble attracting bees into your garden then why not buy your own. Red Mason bees can be very beneficial to any garden and they are safe around children and pets. They’ve been shown to be great pollinators of fruit trees, raspberries and strawberries. They’re also fond of tree blossom and various other types of flowers.
The cocoons come in a tube that you can integrate into any shop-bought bee nest. When the time is right the bees will emerge and begin pollinating your garden.
Available to buy in spring 2012 from CJ Wild Bird foods, priced at £14.95 for 15 Red Mason Bee Cocoons.
Pollinating Bee Log
This bee log is a natural home for Mason bees and other solitary bees. It gives good insulation and is designed to provide the bees with shelter and a natural resting place. Because of this, it does not need to be moved indoors in winter. This is a simple way of keeping bees without a lot of effort. It’s also a great place to put the Red Mason bee cocoons we’ve just mentioned.
Available from the Eden Project Shop at £16.99
We’d also love to hear from you if you keep bees or are thinking of keeping them, so why not leave a comment.
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