We totally understand the threat. In 2023 there have been 71 Asian hornet nests found in 55 locations. To get prepared and protect Dorset Bees we are holding an Asian Hornet awareness session on Sunday 19th November, I know a lot of members have made a note of the date, there is no need to book just come along to this very important meeting.
East Dorset Beekeepers Association is holding an Asian Hornet Awareness session on Sunday 19th November 2023 at the Corfe Mullen Village Hall, Tower Way, Corfe Mullen BH21 3UA 2.00pm – 4.30pm led by Mark White the Asian Hornet Officer for Dorset BKA. We strongly advise that all members with bees attend this afternoon. The Asian Hornet poses a very real threat to the well-being of your bees and the biodiversity of our lovely county.
Mark has experience of working with beekeepers in Jersey and with members of the National Bee Unit in tackling the Asian Hornet incursion. He will be leading in the fight against the invasion and, as such, will talk to us about what we as beekeepers can do, getting prepared, how to recognise the hornet, tracking and tracing and setting up traps in Spring 2024. It is also a great opportunity for us as a local association to discuss how collectively we can protect the bees in our locale.
If you are unable to make this event then we are running another on 29th November at the Colliton Club & Bar, Dorchester, Dorset DT1 1XZ. Please contact us via our website for more information
May and June are the peak season for honey bee swarms. But what should you do? Read on to see how we can help.
If you see the marvellously natural sight of thousands of bees flying through the air, this is swarming. Eventually they may choose to alight in your favourite tree or garden bush. The group of bees is know as a cluster and can land on your bird table.
What should I do if I think I have seen a honeybee swarm?
Remain calm, it is also sensible to keep your distance, and keep children and pets indoors. Remember, these vital pollinators need care and not a pest controller. It is much better for the bee’s survival if you phone your local beekeeping association below to collect them.
You can anticipate the bee swarm will rest for between a few hours. It can be as long as 2 days before their scout bees come back to tell them others where their new home will be.
Firstly, a colony of bees prepares to swarm for a few reasons. Firstly, when they are raising lots of baby bees and it is getting a little crowded in their original hive. Secondly, they may decide the queen is getting old and create new queens within the hive. Rather than fight it out the old queen leaves, with half the hive! That could be between 1,500 and 30,000 bees including workers (female bees) and drones (male bees).
Secondly, and most interestingly, the bee’s little tummies will be engorged with honey for their flight. Because of this they will be in a docile, passive state of mind. In addition, they do not have a home to defend!
Who Can Collect Dorset Honeybee Swarms?
East Dorset Beekeepers have a Swarm Coordinator who you can contact via our website’s swarm map page. They will try to find one of our friendly volunteer beekeepers who may be able to come to your home and carefully collect honey bees, for free.
You will be asked a number of questions to help you identify if you have honeybees, or if you are describing the nest of wasps or hornets, a photo helps. Please be ready with your address, postcode, phone number and the location of the swarm in case we need to bring a ladder! You can learn a lot by watching from a safe area, preferably indoors.
Gardeners love bees because they know pollinators are the most important insects on earth. Also gardeners know that the 276 species of UK bees are crucial for pollination. In fact, if the bee population were to disappear altogether, we would loose our honey and half the fruit and vegetables we rely on
One of our beekeepers’ New Year’s resolution was a promise to only add plants that are bee, or pollinator, friendly plants to their garden. As a result, it will be bright and beautiful but has an essential function.
In addition, another member has a 2 acre field that is having wildflowers and trees added for enrichment, and no pesticides. Butterflies will love you for a big Buddleia or relaxing lavender. The RHSsite can suggest some favourites.
How Can I Help Pollinators in My Garden?
Sadly, many of Britain’s gardens are becoming buried in convenience. Too much concrete, too much tarmac, Astroturf or lawns mown within an inch of their life, not a single dandelion in sight. No mow May has been a success for many people who want to help make a difference. You can even decide to leave them for June!.
Who Can Advise on How ‘To Bee’ a Friendlier Gardener?
There are many great organisations, and plant nurseries also have really useful blogs. We were approached by Hannah Miller, a former NHS administrator, mother of two and keen gardener with a horticulture qualification. She cares about the environment and loves growing new plants and experimenting in the garden.
Her blog includes many hints and tips to help you become more eco-sustainable in gardening practices. Read on to find out more.
How Do I Find Out More About Eco-Sustainable Gardening?
There are multiple causes for bee population decline. In brief, there are several issues that have combined to create a genuine threat to our pollinators.
In her DIY Gardening site, Hannah shares natural alternatives to help you reduce, or stop, unknowingly damaging your garden for pollinators.
Imagine Britain’s gardens today. Too much concrete, too much tarmac, Astroturf or lawns mown within an inch of their life, not a single dandelion in sight. Alternatives to pesticides, fungicides, insecticides, and herbicides.
How Can I Help My Garden?
Take a look at Hannah’s helpful guide below for novice and enthusiast gardeners looking for tips to help improve your gardening practices.
If you have enjoyed this information and want to know more about East Dorset Beekeeping Association, Check out our About Us Page.
Gardeners love bees written 2023
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Our popular “Winter Meetings” have now been arranged and we have some great speakers. Go to the diary page to see what will be going on. This also has other key dates for your diary including the 2023 Honey Show.