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planbee 

House Bee
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I have acquired a piece of land – at last - just over an acre!
It’s rough, in fact it’s as rough as a Badgers Arris, as they say.

It’s mostly covered in brambles, and a plant that I knew as “kek” when I was a kid, I think it’s real name is Cow Parsley, and brambles, and fireweed, and brambles, and lot’s of other things that I don’t recognise, [must get wild plant and weed, recognition book].

The ground is so bloody difficult to walk on, because it’s “clumps” of grass that you simply twist your ankles on.

Because of this, the original plan was to have it scraped flat by a JCB, or similar, and then plant it up as a wild flower meadow, and get loads of butterflies.

Fighting my way through it yesterday afternoon, [wearing, nice pale blue shirt, and posh navy blue trousers of course, I didn’t originally set off to go there], I found that it’s full of butterflies of every colour imaginable.

So as it’s already full of bee forage, and thousands of beautiful butterflies, there doesn’t seem to be much point in scraping it flat, and starting again.

At the moment, my plan is simply to run a few flocks of bees, and no flocks of anything else.

I’m not interested in going to the field morning, noon, and night, to let them out/shut them in, or any of that old malarkey.

Neither am I interested in owning any creature, which may at some point require me to stick my fingers, hand, and/or arm into any of it’s bodily orifii!

However, in order to insert beehives into this mess, I will have to buy a brushcutter, and carve a path into it.

The path won’t be directly in line with the gate, but I need to hide it from anybody who leans over and looks along, behind the hedge, or anybody passing by in a high driving seat.

Any idea’s for something that will form a hedge type of barrier - grows quick, is dense, and stays tidy without “straggling” everywhere?

Oh yes, and attractive to bees and butterflies, and cheap!

John
 

hedgerow pete 

Queen Bee
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you lucky lucky s** how about this idea leave all the brambles etc alone just cut your path once and cut a S shape this will meen that no one way will give a distance view and bee hives are lower than brambles except for finbees hives which stand tall like me

i have tried to upload a picture but i cant seem to do it
 

planbee 

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Yes, OK, Pete,

I intend to site the hives along the edge that's farthest from the gate, so your idea is a good one.

The other thing that was bothering me was that they might be seen during the Winter, when quite a lot of this vegetation dwindles off, and gets a bit sparse.

I wondered about putting little groups of bushes/trees along the far edge, and siting the hives in pairs on the other side of them.

John
 

FenBee 

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John, if you regularly mow the grass, then the clumps will give way to a much flatter surface. Grass left to it's own devices tends to form large clumps.

For trees you could consider Elder, Willow, Hazel, Birch, Sweet Chestnut, Ash and Buddleja globosa to name a few that a reasonably fast growing.

Hedges can also be grown using any of the above trees as hedging along with plants like quick-thorn (sloe), Hawthorn (is a bit slower to grow).

The BTCV have a couple of good books on tree planting & after care and another on laying hedges, see http://shop.btcv.org.uk/shop/level2/59/level

Mike.
 

Bcrazy 

Drone Bee
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Hi Planbee,

Get in touch with Andy Willis he is a master of knowledge regarding flora.
He will advise you for all flora with bees in mind.

honeybees@waitrose.com

Regards;
 

Somerford 

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you could try jeruselum artichokes...they grow ai 7 foot high very thick hedge, plant a strip 1 - 2 feet wide. They thenk leave a thicket of dried twigs which needs cutting back in the winter (if you harvest them) prior to regrowing the next year.

you do need to harvest some as they spread !

let me know if you need some seed as my neighbouring allotment always has lots spare in the winter
 
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If the ground is suitable, i.e. reasonably or even very damp most of the year then willow would be easiest, cheapest and quickest. If you can beg or pinch some willow shoots, about 3 or 4 feet long, just stick them in the ground and they should take root. The closer you plant them the quicker you will get a hedge.
 

oliver90owner 

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This thread may be of no further use as the OP unfortunately no longer keeps bees.

Regards, RAB
 

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