Tuesday, 8 July 2008

The lavender's beautiful, but there are no bees.

A bit flattened from all the rain, but valiantly flowering on. I think if I had my time again I'd go for a less purple and more, yes, lavender shade, but I love the hedge anyway.








One thing I have noticed this year is the dreadful decrease in the number of bees on the lavender. Usually when I walk down the path I am surrounded by them. There must be less than half the usual amount this year.

Whether it's varroa mite, colony collapse disorder, our love of the mobile phone or something else, we need our bees. I have many of the plants that bees love: comfrey by the yard, rosemary, groves of foxgloves and of course the lavender, and if I haven't got bees, then who on earth has?



The British Beekeepers' Association is running a campaign to persuade the Government to fund an £8 million research programme. So far it has refused, despite the fact that without bees, we would have none of the crops that rely on bees for pollination: no apples, pears, strawberries, peas or beans, to say nothing of the £165 million that honey bees contribute annually to the agricultural economy.

I think the bee situation has now gone beyond the stage where we can feel we're doing something by planting flowers bees love. Serious research and action are needed now. The BBA has a letter you can download to send to your MP, and you can donate to the campaign via Paypal.

Save the bees.



4 comments:

Juliet said...

Mmm, I adore lavender. And what a lot you've got - lucky you. Yes, I'd noticed a distinct lack of bees here, too. It's very worrying, so thanks for the save the bees link - I shall get me thither and investigate.

Jane Badger said...

I adore lavender too. The hedge was a family effort. Mother nobly set the seeds, we all dug the new beds for the baby plants, and then had a very anxious (and hot) summer endlessly watering it!

Juliet said...

you grew it from seed????!

'Respect'!

(Or, in the olde worlde parlance to which I stubbornly cling: 'gosh, I'm most tremendously impressed and filled with admiration')

Jane Badger said...

Only because a. I am a cheapskate and to buy plants would have cost a fortune and b. my mother has a greenhouse and offered! The hedge self-seeds with a vengeance now, as I am lazy and don't cut it back as soon as I should (my story is I like to leave the seeds for the goldfinches.)