I had a facebook message from a friend of mine who runs a very ‘green’ site and asked me to contribute something about planting flowers for bees. Here’s what I wrote:
Chris Slade comments:
“Apart from H20, in absence or excess, the chemical that has had the most deleterious effect on pollinators is probably Round Up. This means that absolutely nothing grows in fields except that planted by the farmer, leaving nothing for the pollinating insects to feed on and, a step up the food chain, nothing for insectivorous birds. Last year I saw more swallows in 2 days in Co. Galway than all summer in Dorset, but there are a few more here this year.
What can YOU do? Unless you’re into bowls, turn your lawn into a wild flower meadow. Plant your borders and beds with a range of flowers that will feed bees for most of the year as well as looking good and providing some tasty food for you. Dandelions, ivy, thistles, borage, rosebay willow herb, lavender, sage, berried fruit of all sorts, sallies (willow) of several sorts, Himalayan Balsam (the last one is frowned upon by the Authorities but beloved by beekeepers).
You have no garden? Then do some subversive gardening. Get some clay, plaster of Paris, plasticine, dough or whatever you can find or devise that will roll into balls and to which seeds will stick. Boys may have a catapult that you can use; girls may find it more ladylike to carry a scarf, shawl or stocking that can, when nobody’s looking, be used as a sling! Go for a walk and fire or hurl your seeded balls into places where you perceive a need for more flowers. Then, on future walks, you can monitor progress, noting which seeds do best in your area using that method so you can adapt your mix next time.
Have a care and use your common sense where to do this. Imagine that somebody’s doing it to YOUR ground and think how you’d feel about being on the receiving end.”
August 8, 2012 a 10:21 am