Advice for Planting Some Land for the Bees...

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greatbritishhoney 

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"Himalayan balsam is listed under Schedule 9 to the Wildlife and Countryside Act
1981 with respect to England and Wales. As such, it is an offence to plant or
otherwise allow this species to grow in the wild".

"Out-competes native species in ecologically sensitive areas, particularly river
banks. Where it grows in dense stands along river banks it can impede flow at
times of high rainfall, increasing the likelihood of flooding. Die back of extensive
stands over winter can leave river banks bare and exposed to erosion".

How does a £5000 fine and 6 months in jail grab you?
 
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greatbritishhoney 

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Before planting a large area with anything, I'd recommend doing a small trial first. No point shelling out a load of money on something that the bees ignore.
I planted a load of lavender this year - haven't seen a single honeybee on it. Not one.
 

Winker 

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"Himalayan balsam is listed under Schedule 9 to the Wildlife and Countryside Act
1981 with respect to England and Wales. As such, it is an offence to plant or
otherwise allow this species to grow in the wild".

"Out-competes native species in ecologically sensitive areas, particularly river
banks. Where it grows in dense stands along river banks it can impede flow at
times of high rainfall, increasing the likelihood of flooding. Die back of extensive
stands over winter can leave river banks bare and exposed to erosion".

How does a £5000 fine and 6 months in jail grab you?
There's your ambiguous line there. How do you define "wild"

and i know for a fact my bees are working it, so does that make me legally responsible for its spread in the wild within a mile and a half of my house?
 
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Gardenbees 

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Before planting a large area with anything, I'd recommend doing a small trial first. No point shelling out a load of money on something that the bees ignore.
I planted a load of lavender this year - haven't seen a single honeybee on it. Not one.
:iagree:Bees tend to go for the best option - in my case they ignored lavender completely because there was a big borage patch nearby.

I have to say I have yet to find anything that out-does borage for popularity, except HB and hemlock water-dropwort, both of which are waterside plants that tend to flower later (and neither of which are very neighbour-friendly things to encourage).

If you've got the option of planting trees, then obviously lime is a good option; but if you've got a fairly warm and sheltered spot then the Chinese Bee Tree is spectacular for later nectar. For early to mid flowering, I find they prefer Alliums to almost anything else. Mine didn't seem to go much for my neighbour's phacelia (although the bumblebees loved it!).

NB - borage and alliums both self-seed freely and seem able to come up year after year without suffering any deterioration of quality.
 

greatbritishhoney 

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There's your ambiguous line there. How do you define "wild"

and i know for a fact my bees are working it, so does that make me legally responsible for its spread in the wild within a mile and a half of my house?
The regulation says two things...
1. It is illegal to plant it.
2. That it is illegal to allow it to grow in the wild. I.e - if you are a landowner you have a responsibility to make sure it does not grow on or propogate from your property.

The reason it covers both these factors is so that the defence of ignorance (i.e - I didn't realise it was growing there) is not a valid defence.

I think you'd have a hard time convincing a judge that a load of HB growing in the middle of a farmer's field was not "wild".
The only time growing an invasive species would be allowed is under licence (issued by Defra). These could be issued for things like scientific research etc - not to farmers or beekeepers.
 
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RoofTops 

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My guess would be that if you planted HimBals around a duck pond it would be all down the local streams in a few years. Why? The explosive seed pods would throw seeds in all directions and it would only take one to stick to the muddy foot of a duck on its way to visit another stretch of water for the plant to spread.

I have some colonies near this plant and it is very sad to see how it is spreading, not just down the river banks but inland as well through its roots. Some plants have spread 50 feet from the banks. It is also going up hill in one place along the banks of a tiny stream.
 

madasafish 

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The regulation says two things...
1. It is illegal to plant it.
2. That it is illegal to allow it to grow in the wild. I.e - if you are a landowner you have a responsibility to make sure it does not grow on or propogate from your property.

.
Our local councils are therfore acting illegally as it grows freely on local green areas. ALL local farmers are guilty - as it has sprrrrrrrrrrrread up irrigation ditches, into fields and along hedgerows.. etc..

Another law not enforced... Like farmers supposed to remove ragwort.. Or not dump mud on roads..
 

greatbritishhoney 

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Our local councils are therfore acting illegally as it grows freely on local green areas. ALL local farmers are guilty - as it has sprrrrrrrrrrrread up irrigation ditches, into fields and along hedgerows.. etc..

Another law not enforced... Like farmers supposed to remove ragwort.. Or not dump mud on roads..
I agree, enforcement is highly unlikely in those cases.
However, someone deliberately planting it with the permission of the landowner, then mentioning it on a public forum that, no doubt, has a few defra employees on it...........:rolleyes:

Seriously though, I think there is a distinction to be made between exploiting something that is already there (i.e putting your hives near to a river with HB) and intentionally spreading an invasive species that causes serious erosion of riverbanks, out-competes native species and potentially increases flooding.

Anyway, none of this really helps the OP. HB has already been done to death on the forum. Sorry!
 

newportbuzz 

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I agree, enforcement is highly unlikely in those cases.
However, someone deliberately planting it with the permission of the landowner, then mentioning it on a public forum that, no doubt, has a few defra employees on it...........:rolleyes:

Seriously though, I think there is a distinction to be made between exploiting something that is already there (i.e putting your hives near to a river with HB) and intentionally spreading an invasive species that causes serious erosion of riverbanks, out-competes native species and potentially increases flooding.

Anyway, none of this really helps the OP. HB has already been done to death on the forum. Sorry!
Id bet if they wanted to nick you they could if you move hives to take advantage of hb . I reckon with some research i could prove that the seed yield goes up when you put hives close to it.

They arnt actually combating the plant in any real way anyway. So spreading it around can only be speeding up the inevitable. It will find a balance in time just like all the other introduced plants.
 

Winker 

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The reason it covers both these factors is so that the defence of ignorance (i.e - I didn't realise it was growing there) is not a valid defence.

I think you'd have a hard time convincing a judge that a load of HB growing in the middle of a farmer's field was not "wild".
The only time growing an invasive species would be allowed is under licence (issued by Defra). These could be issued for things like scientific research etc - not to farmers or beekeepers.
I once stood in the dock and pled Ignorance, the judge told me "Ignorance" is no defence and fined me £30.

Nature will strike a balance. We keep cutting down the natural forage of the bees and nature has found a way to counter our destructive ways.

I bet if i was took to court and stood in front of a jury, i would stand a good chance of a not guilty verdict. Bees are in decline (or so the media would have us believe) Their habitat is being chopped down faster than it can be replaced. The public have been put on panic mode over bee survival.

But on a brighter note, i have not sown the seeds yet! I was going to plant the bee trees first on his island, wait until they took root before the HB was sowed.

I wont be sowing the HB now it has been clarified to me. I will plant more Bee trees :cheers2: I have loads of HB around me anyhow, it goes for miles and miles either side of me.
 

Erichalfbee 

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B globosa is the one to go for
 
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Botanist 

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Our local councils are therfore acting illegally as it grows freely on local green areas. ALL local farmers are guilty - as it has sprrrrrrrrrrrread up irrigation ditches, into fields and along hedgerows.. etc..

Another law not enforced... Like farmers supposed to remove ragwort.. Or not dump mud on roads..

Actually the law does not say that farmers are supposed to remove ragwort. In extreme cases people may be ordered to control it but with out an order there is no compulsion.

Also ragwort we know from an official survey is actually decreasing.

For more information see Ragwort Facts
Ragwort myths and facts
 

Chris58 

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We have three lavender bushes and this year not one honeybee on them - loads of other bees, but no honeybees - and this is with a wild nest in next door's chimney!
 

Chris58 

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There is a company called 'Davids - Closer to Nature' I believe they sell loads of specialist wildflower mixes
 

nelletap 

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Not sure where the deduction about it not being so attractive as borage or clover comes from. Having witnessed bees on phacelia in the walled garden at Hughenden Manor where it was absolutely covered and humming and seen my own borage and clover just with a few bees in place I have invested in phacelia seeds for next year.
Tricia
 

richardbees 

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Eric

I've had b.globosa and agree it's v attractive to bees.

However, I removed it because of the small % of flowers to total plant area and (mine at least) only had one flush of bloom on last year's growth.....so you're left with just leaves for most of the year.
 

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