Follow our progress running the nursery, watching wild bees, keeping honey bees and creating our own bee-haven in south Oxfordshire

Learning to count bees


Today I attended a workshop at the Laboritory of Apiculture and Social Insects - LASI to thier friends or anyone looking for snappier title - at Sussex University. The workshop focused on garden plants for bees and included practical sessions to learn their technique for assessing how attractive plants are to various different bees. Professor Francis Reitniks put it very simply; bees are very sophisticated at assessing plants value for nectar and pollen so the easiest way to assess the plants is to count bees.  This is exactly what I have been trying to do at Rosybee but with a much more disciplined process - fab, and just what I needed to learn.

LASI has a trial garden set up where each of 32 types of plants (selected based on anecdotal evidence for lack of anything else) are each planted in a 1 square meter patch to make the counting easier. We spent a happy hour counting, cataloging, and learning (see picture)

It was also really good to meet representatives from stately-homes, local councils, beekeeping and major horticultural organisations such as Wisley and Kew, all coming together with a common goal.