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keithgrimes 

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We had a talk at the local association from a lady from Natural England this week. Nice lady but dissapointing talk. She was telling us about the wildlife stewardship schemes for landowners (margin wildflowers, grants for reduced fertilisation etc.) She admitted that their focus is birdlife (more insects equals more bird food). Quote ' there are two million members of the RSPB and only a few thousand beekeepers'.She aggressively defended their stance on Balsam (rip it out) and derided sycamores as 'unwanted aliens'. And just to p**s everyone off further she confirmed that their bee focus is on bumble bees rather than 'domesticated' (sic.) bees. A fairly unhappy room of beekeepers, good job the bar was open.
 

Dishmop 

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She's probably got a beek neighbour whose bees crap on her car...:party:
 
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We had a "talk" by a lady from Natural England at out local trai bike riding club.... and was she anti motorcycles ......... untill one Proffessor of entomology pointed out that the glow worm population [Noctiluca lampa ??] has benefitted from the disturbance created by two wheeled vehicles using Englands very old unmettalled green lanes... (most but not all are still classified as roads and carry full road status, vehicles have to be taxed inured etc etc)
I asked her about bee populations as I know of a site being exploited by masonary bees' and Natural Englands viewpoint on the fact that they NE are encouraging farmers to destroy habitats, plant Rape seed etc etc
I think she was a little taken aback with so many people in the room actually interested in protecting our Natural England,,,, but not the one she wanted for us!

gosh that was a beeless rant if ever ther was one!!!
 

louiseww 

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This confirms something I have been thinking for a long time. All the talk of 'bee-friendly' gardens, plants etc is aimed at bumble bees. Not many people realise that honey bees have different mouth parts to bumble bees and cannot forage on the same plants. To the lay person a bee is a bee whether it be fat and furry or slim and dark ..... there is no difference!!! Of course beeks know better!
 

DorsetB 

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Last time I spoke to somone from NE, and happened to mention that I kept bees, they told me I shouldn't keep them so close to the SSSI I live near, as I was likely to "create an imbalance in the local insect population".
 

Stiffy 

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We had a talk at the local association from a lady from Natural England this week. Nice lady but dissapointing talk. She was telling us about the wildlife stewardship schemes for landowners (margin wildflowers, grants for reduced fertilisation etc.) She admitted that their focus is birdlife (more insects equals more bird food). Quote ' there are two million members of the RSPB and only a few thousand beekeepers'.She aggressively defended their stance on Balsam (rip it out) and derided sycamores as 'unwanted aliens'. And just to p**s everyone off further she confirmed that their bee focus is on bumble bees rather than 'domesticated' (sic.) bees. A fairly unhappy room of beekeepers, good job the bar was open.
Surprised that she turned up at all as they are under this government fast becoming an 'Endangered Species'.

I work closely with NE and most do a very good job, I for one will be very sorry to see them go.

Your local Nature reserve will soon belong or be sponsored by Mcdonalds or Tesco if the rumours I am hearing are to be believed.
Cheers
S
 

Vergilius 

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Keithgrimes,

Sounds like a woefully dull talk! Evidently the assocs are struggling to fill meetings at this time of the year. And this woman said that bumblebees were her main concern! Don't get me wrong I do think thery are nice, but they do little or nothing for us compared to honeybees and yet they take all the "play-school" credit.

Teacher says: "So class, this is a picture of a bee, it makes us lots of lovely honey and makes our plants grow well". Sorry teacher, but that is a picture of a bumblebee that can't make honey and does little or no pollination whatsover! I still face this rubbish in my GCSE biology.

She's probably got a beek neighbour whose bees crap on her car...:party:
Or swarmed onto her window, or stung her dog...

Ben P
 

georgia b 

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i think you have been slightly miss guided by someone, it's true that bumble bees don't make a lot of honey, and the honey they do make they eat themself. however they are a very important pollinator, espically glass-house crops, this is shown with people who grow tomatoes, they use bumbles as a honey bee isn't strong enough to do the job. and this is also why companies like agralan sell them on to farmers and growers.
 

johnandyrob 

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There was a woman from natural England at the northern bee conference this year and she explained that their focus was on bumble bees but by getting farmers to cut their hedge rows later allowing them to flower leave uncultivated edges on there fields wild flowers and some to use methods to return hay fields to flower meadows all insects benefit from the increased forage including honey bees how can this be bad?
 

keithgrimes 

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There was a woman from natural England at the northern bee conference this year and she explained that their focus was on bumble bees but by getting farmers to cut their hedge rows later allowing them to flower leave uncultivated edges on there fields wild flowers and some to use methods to return hay fields to flower meadows all insects benefit from the increased forage including honey bees how can this be bad?
I didn't say what they do is bad, I said the talk was disappointing. Their emphasis is very much on insects as part of the food chain for bird life, and on bumble bees. Little or no knowledge or interest in honey bees. This lady didn't know, for example, that white clover is much better for honey bees than red clover. I repeat what she said 'there are two million memebers of the RSPB, and only a few thousand beekeepers.'
 

RoofTops 

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I think there are also more RSPB members than there are paid up members of all the politcal parties put together. Which is probably a good thing.

I also support the comment above about the role of bumblebees. As a group they overall do much more pollination than honey bees due to their wide variety of shapes and sizes and ability to fly at the ends of the season - so ensuring that they can cover virtually all the flowering plants which require pollination. For example bumblebees will visit primroses - which only a desparate honey bee would do as the nectar is only about 5% sugar.
 

oliver90owner 

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espically glass-house crops

they use bumbles as a honey bee isn't strong enough to do the job





I think you may also have been slightly misguided by someone too.

The main reason why honeybees are not used in greenhouse horticulture pollination is that of the bees natural instinct to fly up towards the light and therefore are unable to escape the house to return to the hive. This is particularly a problem with poly-tunnels.

Whether the bees are appropriate for the basic pollination of any particlar plant is another matter. There is, of course, the repeat orders for bumbles for pollination which is why it is becoming big business - bumble bees, not suited to the environment are not perennial as honey bees can be.

RAB
 

Vortex 

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.She aggressively defended their stance on Balsam (rip it out) and derided sycamores as 'unwanted aliens'.
Hmmm .. think she needs to go back to school.... sycamores have only been here 900-1100 years and a classified as native in Southern England by 1100AD
 
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Hmmm .. think she needs to go back to school.... sycamores have only been here 900-1100 years and a classified as native in Southern England by 1100AD
:hurray:Now there is a good example of global climate change!!!
It is just the pace at which the changes are occuring thay worries me!!!
 

madasafish 

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No trees grew here 30,000 years ago in the last Ice Age - so by definition none are native..

Sweet Chestnut? Romans.
Buddleia? Victorians
Rhododendron? Victorians


Monkey puzzle?

Lots and lots of species to get rid of.

Rabbits? Imported by Romans..
Most butterflies are invaders...

Spanish oaks?

Looks like a lot of work...
 

Dishmop 

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No trees grew here 30,000 years ago in the last Ice Age - so by definition none are native..
If the ice age was global.......... where did any of them came from?

When was what we now call the UK seperated from mainland Europe by water?
 

richardbees 

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georgia b,

I didn't know that, as tom flowers are self fertilising (so presumably they want the b/bees for the vibration?).... you should know living in Lincs!

I thought the bumblebee nest suppliers were selling for other GH crops like pepper, strawberry growers.

Live and learn, Thanks!

Richard
 

Dishmop 

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It wasn't. Africa was the opposite- desert.

So no trees there either then...
 

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