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SAVING BEES

THE EVERYDAY GUIDE TO HELPING YOUR MOST IMPORTANT POLLINATOR
THE EASY WAY

DAMIAN APPLEBY

CONTENTS

Introduction
Foreword

1. A world after bees
2. What you can do
3. The History of Bees
4. Types of bees
5. Flowers
6. Of Bees and Trees
7. Water
8. Planting without a garden

9. Emergency Rescue

10. Dealing with Environmental issues
11. Recipes for Bees

12. Sugar Syrup

13. Thymol
14. Pollen Substitute

15. Bee Health Supplement

About the Author

"In the Universe great acts are made up of small deeds" Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching .

What if. you have really made a difference. we seem more busy than ever. doesn't cost a lot of money and the results are pretty good to look at as well. you could really make a huge difference the future of bees. can seem to just too time consuming to fit in. you really can change the world. I'll meet you on the porch in 4 hours where we can admire your handy-work. Saving bees. Here's an idea. I've collected the essential parts of my workshops. despite all the convenience. when it's really the simple stuff that will make all the difference. honed them right down and created a plan that could be done in an afternoon - it's that simple. So. . in fact to the future of all of us? Imagine that. in just 4 hours. Read this book. put aside 4 hours of world saving time. Running here. there just isn't enough hours in the day. there and everywhere. Most of the things that normal people like you and me need to do in order to save the bees doesn't take a lot time. and then pat yourself on the back. So why wouldn't you? People try grandiose ideas to save bees. for just one afternoon of your time. although we all agree is important to our survival. So make me a little promise (no crossing your fingers). INTRODUCTION I n the modern world.

It would be nice if we could find the one threat that has created this issue. 1. if everyone does their bit. and so better placed to handle varroa and fight off infections. Understanding the threats goes some way to seeing how a solution can be found. Bumblebees or Solitary bees) are connected to changes in their environment (mainly caused by us) but the environmental changes aren't irreversible. it is more prone to other diseases (such as K-wing) and cause a massive loss within a hive. . It is a very real problem. they are parasitic little mites that live in the hive. The causes of the bees pain is manyfold. However. But it's just not that simple. we can ensure bees are stronger. Already. Varroa mites. solve the problem and all would be good again. but bees have faced other mites and survived. in the last few years several types of bee have become extinct. FOREWORD B ees run a very real risk of becoming extinct in the next few years. This severely weakens the bee and passes on a disease (Varoosis). We can't eradicate varroa. we can put things right. Once the bee emerges the mite is well and truly stuck on it and sucks it fat bodies . As this weakens the bee. We could then point our fingers at it. it's here to stay. They actually lay their young within the larvae of beehives (they do affect bumblebees as well). You may have heard of these. The main issues that bees face (and for this you can read Honey bees. however the solutions are fairly simple.

Knowing how to help bees would have been natural. 3. you can make a difference. we can still learn about bees. Food stock It's no surprise to anyone that bees food stock has decreased massively over the past few decades. we would have either been involved directly. By adapting what we do to the changing conditions. our gardens. We have changed how we use the green areas around us.. so one way or another an insecticide is a threat to bees. Environmental change The world has changed. These days have now passed. and it doesn't take that long to do - give me 4 hours. Sadly. they make it a better place. their nesting sites and generally everything else they need to live. we are doing a lot to help bees. their food sources. our parks. . we can do a lot to help. However. kill insects. which has an impact on all life on this planet. even our road verges. We can have the flowers and trees that bees need. Bees are insects. or be very near to one. we can learn how to help them and what's happening in their world. there's plenty you can do to help bees 4. By putting a little effort into these areas. which has a direct impact on the bees. Many of the insects we kill are actually helpful to the garden. we can rebuild them. and offering them the support they need for the weather conditions. Although you won't be able to single handedly get rid of any of these issues. 5. As the planets warms. By understanding these insects. or known someone who was their to give us advice.2. Lack of understanding There was a time when every house would have a beehive. so our seasons change. Chemical insecticides Insecticides are there to do one job. Even if you don't have a garden. and is still changing. and discovering how we can encourage the good insects and dissuade the bad ones without insecticides. and I will show you how to make a massive difference to the bee population around you.

the bees we have won't be able to pollinate the numbers of plants needed to maintain their survival. eventually vanishing from our shelves altogether. Certainly it will be a lot more green. The amount of food available just won't be enough to sustain the existing population. coffee. Berries that normally would be apparent throughout the year will not be seen as nothing has been there to pollinate the flowers. Where once your gardens had plenty of flowers. Which means they . wine. spirits. It's up to you whether they survive or not. cigarettes and vegetable oil will become increasingly difficult to get hold of. ants and hover-flies). bees are really dying. those pollinated by other insects. Within the second year crop yield will be low. If we lose our bees. it won't be in one Earth shattering day. and no doubt there are those that would disagree with it. their numbers will decrease dramatically within 24 months. So they starve. Bees are the main pollinator for many of the flowers that these rely on for a food source. tea. there is nothing at that stage that can be done. there will only be a few. forcing prices up on what little food there is. You may well just put it down to a bad summer. The decrease of plant life will have a damaging effect on the remaining pollinators (such as moths. Store staples such as mayonnaise . These are my thoughts. the declining bee numbers means there is less food for them. Within the first 12 months you will notice is the numbers of flowers decreasing. We go into a bee tailspin. While we argue over the details. Mice and other small mammals that also rely on berries will being to disappear. Smaller birds that depended on these will start to starve. 1 A WORLD AFTER BEES T his is intended as brief summary of the impact a declining bee population has on the world as a whole. There will be a tipping point we pass. and some who say I haven't gone far enough. you probably wouldn't notice it's happened.

Grazing cattle. Colour has disappeared from the world. are now inbreeding. foraging on the carcasses of those animals that have starved to death. leather and milk. Birds and mammals that are dependent on those trees will now be at serious risk of extinction. As stock piles of cotton are now depleted. there are a few left but not many. The tail spin is speeding up. The ones that can mate. with little colour. With the insects and small mammals reptiles rely on to survive having gone. increasing the risk of genetic diseases. reducing the number of cattle available for meat. It doesn't have to be this way. The remaining insects are struggling to survive in the new world. The reducing oxygen levels. although eating grass. the Bumblebees have completely gone. combined with the reduced amount of nutritional food has a serious impact on the numbers of humans surviving. in an already over-polluted environment this will begin forcing other animals into extinction. their loss of numbers means the trees aren't being pollinated. It's now three years since the tailspin began. there are fewer bees to mate and produce offspring for the next generation. the price of clothing soars. the lack of trees means that the oxygen levels will start decreasing worldwide. . or are at the brink of extinction. Flowers have all but disappeared. The sky's no longer echo the sounds of birds as they are now on the brink of extinction. The clover has long gone. wool and tweed along with man made fibres such as nylon. their numbers will decrease significantly. also need other plants such as clover for nutrients. Larger mammals that have been feeding on the smaller mammals and birds will begin to suffer the consequences of the bees decline. Many trees are pollinated by bees. Of course. We will probably see a large increase in the population of rats.pollinate less flowers. Trees will start to disappear. a few colonies are left around the world. the Solitary Bees are hanging on. and so their health is suffering. but their numbers are seriously reduced. We will have to rely more and more on animal based fibres such as leather. Our deciduous forests didn't survive the last winter. Disease and starvation is rife. the Honeybees have almost gone. instead fir trees are the only trees we see. The number of bees is now seriously decreasing. It's now four years since that fateful day. Gardens are largely grass oasis's now.

We still have the chance to save the bees. by the end of this book (and this afternoon) you can really make a difference to the future of bees. but with all bees. And none of it is difficult. Not just with Honeybees. You have taken the first step by reading this book. but we have to act now. .

827. Thats just one square foot. and so are inherently safer for bees.714 bees and Canada 20. In the UK it would mean 37. This is a large part of the reason why I advocate using container plants as these need less pesticides. This goes beyond creating a haven in your garden for them. only weaken already drained bees. Think of what you could so with 2 or maybe 3 ? The biggest problem I've come across with people who want to help bees is where do they start? There is so much in the news about the threats to bees it can get confusing.176 bees fed.884 extra bees fed. By learning about bees.484.672.594 bees. By learning the basics of pesticide free gardening we can ensure that the food they have is safe for them to eat. a lot of bees problems would be made a lot easier to handle if they had a better food source. The Varroa mites we hear so much about. In fact they're safer for any insect. this would become less of an issue. it is about understanding how environmental changes . Australia 13.433. They would be more resistant to the efforts of the mites. you can understand what needs to be done to help them on a daily basis. So let's make this simple. If they bees had a healthier food supply and were stronger. 2 WHAT YOU CAN DO I f everyone plants a pot for bees that just one square foot in the US that would mean 185.

In order to help you understand more about bees we have created the Wild Bees Journal. so make a really good read. Within just a few hours you can have an area that truly helps save the bees. Every month we give you information on what bees are doing.affect the bees. It has loads of other information as well about bees and plant lore. it gives you up to date information on how to help the bees given the current environmental situation. . if you like bees of course! Everything in this book is designed to be quick and easy. and what you can do to make their life easier.

The young larvae that emerged from the pollen filled nests would have been fuelled purely by pollen. it would help if we look at the history of Bees. Ants were yet to evolve (they would be another 50 million years). depositing small eggs along with the carrion (and sometimes still living prey) for the larvae when it emerged. they carried the pollen with them. and more importantly why. Of course. finding small tunnels left by burrowing beetles into which to leave their eggs. Pterodactyls ruled the skies. or ambush prey much as their modern day ancestors would eventually do. Bees evolved hairs to capture the pollen more efficiently. Their bodies changed . it is likely at these times they used the trees that were abundant. when the tunnels collapsed. As the new Bees moved between plants. but the plentiful pollen (protein rich in it's own right) that enabled the commonplace ferns to reproduce. usually in mud. 3 THE HISTORY OF BEES B efore we begin to look at how to create a Bee haven. Bumble Bees and Honey Bees were yet to evolve. even their eyes became covered in small hairs. a process that was very unreliable and unproductive. Until now all plants had been wind pollinated. Nature being as it is. Wasps have always been hairless. meat was not always available. so did the Bees. Hunting groups of Solitary Wasps would look for carrion. So let's go back to a time before Bees. There were no flowers as we would know. This way we can understand what they need. As the flowers evolved. probably about 150 Million years ago. There would be times of significant rain. they hadn't evolved yet. served as a supplement at these times. enabling the plants they visited to reproduce. They nested in tunnels. Thus Bees were born. but the model for the Bee had been created. realised this was a much better way to reproduce and so plants evolved flowers to attract their new found partners. It is not difficult to see the similarities between these first Bee prototypes and our modern Solitary Bees. whilst Stegosaurus wandered the earth below. for a share of the booty. and so sought it as food in their formative years. even serving as a complete replacement in very bad times.

000 bees. Honey put in it's first appearance with the evolution of the Bumblebees. vibrating their wing muscles to generate heat.to become rounder. to enable that during food shortages they had a reserve of food to depend upon. To make an even more attractive offering to Bees nectar evolved into the sugary substance it is today. Instead they relied on self cleaning to get rid of any mites. That would first come with the Bumble Bees who put in an appearance about 50 Million years ago. creating a large surface area to collect pollen on. In the depths in winter. bring them back to the nest and the house bees would spread it around the hive. This meant the Honeybees needed larger crevices to nest in. was used for it's strong antiseptic qualities. When additional aid was needed propolis. their hair longer. fanning their wings to ensure it went as far as possible. in common with most invertebrates never evolved an immune system. reducing their losses on cold nights. Shelter from the elements Water Nectar Pollen Mycelium Propolis And most of these are lacking in the environment we have created. they could cluster into a ball with the Queen in the centre. but not socially. Bees could smell it from a large distance. By nesting they also kept warmer as a group. If the day time temperature rose too high. trees would provide the perfect answer to this with cavities created by fallen branches providing a useful home. No doubt as a nest they were a lot safer from predators. To combat this foraging bees would collect water droplets. These large nests enabled them to keep warm over winter provided they have a stock of food. developing much larger nests of up to 60. so fragrant. The arms race of flower pollination had begun. Their bodies were heavier. The bees on the outside of the ball dislocating their wings. would serve as an antibacterial. They had adapted for colder climates. The bees today are able to maintain a constant temperature in the nest of 35 degrees Celsius throughout the year. From looking back over the evolution of bees the we can see that all bees have some common elements they need for a haven. a resin created by trees and shrubs to protect new buds. Bees. and mycelium. They had longer tongues for flowers that held their nectar deep inside to prevent freezing. Honeybees ran a risk of dehydrating due to the high numbers of bees in the nest. which is a fungi that grows on rotting wood. which was stored nectar. Solitary Bees already nested in groups. Honeybees took this nesting instinct a stage further. In order to make a safe haven for bees .

we need to rebalance these elements. .

Bumblebees create nests. the bees on the outside vibrating their wing muscles to keep the nest warm. with the queen in the middle. Naturally they would live in trees or other crevices. in an attempt to domesticate them we have introduced them to hives. when the mating season is finished they will be evicted from the hives so the female workers can focus on looking about the babies inside. A worker bee will only live for about 30 - 40 days in summer. Bumble bees Like Honeybees. literally working herself to death. however.000 a day at her peak). During her life time she will take on a number of roles from house cleaners to guard bees and eventually foragers. She does nothing but lay eggs (around 2.000 bees. They over winter as a colony (which is why they make honey - it's their winter stores). In winter they huddle together. living in large colonies of around 60. the other bees attend her every need to ensure she does get involved with actually running the nest. There is generally only one Queen (you can have more in particular situations) who is the egg layer of the community. Along with the workers and Queen. They are the second most studied creature on earth (humans being the first) yet there is still so much we do not understand about them.Honey bees are very social. all of these fall into three groups. Honey Bees Bumble Bees Solitary Bees The most modern evolution of the bee (appearing around 35 Million years ago). By September. although only these are much smaller than a Honeybees . for some of the year there are also male bees (called Drones) who are only their to mate with virgin Queen Bees. 4 TYPES OF BEES T here are about 20.000 species of bees in the world. However.

so they tend to be very prone when the summer is full of rain. As the oldest of the bee species (at about 130 Million years ago). Because of their wild nature they are incredibly low maintenance. usually ranging from 200 - 400 bees at it's peak. leading to more pollination of flowers. certain strains can look like either Honey bees or Bumble bees. Although they do nest individually. they tend to be overlooked when people think about saving the bees. Solitary bees have a sting. but in fact it's a Solitary bee. The lack of a hive also means the costs of keeping them is extremely low. The Queen Bumblebee will over winter. and a lot more effort is needed to protect them. but let's remember that a Red Mason Solitary Bee does the work of 120 Honeybees. Solitary Bees These form by far the largest collection of bees (about 85% of the species in the world are solitary bees). which leads to a fair bit of misidentification. unlike Honeybees who do take a lot of management. but don't tend to use it. This fact that has led to large numbers of them being used to pollinate entire crops of flowers. but the rest of the colony unfortunately will not survive til winter. Given their rather independent nature. probably for protection. there character is generally very placid (unless it's to other Solitary bees when they can get decidedly territorial). This makes them an excellent partner in any garden. they are extremely important to the future of our world. they are much better at the pollination job as they tend to drop a lot of it. you put up the nest and pretty much let them get on with it until the autumn when you need to do some basic management. Contrary to a lot of popular belief they do create honey. which the adults feed on. From a plants perspective.nest. these are usually underground en find a nest of them coming from a hole user a shed). . the nests tend to be in groups (think of an apartment block for bees). vegetables and trees. The pollen they collect is for the baby bees. You may well think you are looking at a Bumblebee in your garden.

They also they also suffer less from bugs that attack garden plants. So when choosing your plants. The really good bit - container planting is fast. whatever your garden situation. While you're at the garden centre. Nectar forms the basis of honey which adult bees get their carbohydrates from. then containers offer a fantastic opportunity to get bees onboard. Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could have a colourful display in your garden all year? Given the current state of our garden space. A little note here. and pollen for bee bread (their form of baby food - the pollen is mixed with honey and enzymes added to produce the bee bread) which is high in protein content. it is important that we use as much as possible of what we do have. they'll be full of nectar again. Bees need food most of the year. but plants replenish their nectar store about 20 minutes after they've been visited. I know lots of people say pick the ones next to them. so by the time you get home. So you've no excuse. and hey presto there's your gardening space. you will need some container soil (they usually do it in large bags) . The first step is choosing your plants. You can just go out and buy a bag of soil form your local garden centre. If you have decked over your garden space. All of this they get from plants. It is tempting to focus on summer flowers for bees. please have plants that flower at all times of the year. Choosing the right flowers for your bee containers is actually quite easy. however there tends to be a surplus of nectar and pollen at this time anyway. hanging baskets or even window boxes - basically any container you can put plants in. Go to your local garden centre on a sunny day and just watch for where the bees go to. and from pollen their protein. In keeping with the whole 4 hour ethos of this book. 5 FLOWERS B ees use nectar and pollen as a food source - from nectar they get their carbohydrates. Container planting offers the benefit of not being dependent on the soil type that you have in your garden. You can have a fully fledged bee feeding station up and running this very afternoon. containers definitely get the thumbs up for being well within the 4 hours time limit. The question I get asked most is what do I need to plant for bees. I mean plant containers. or maybe paved it for that lovely car parking area. those are the plants you want. by containers. both flowers and trees.

if it doesn't then just remove or add some more soil. or a metal window screen in the bottom of your new container over the drain hole. Get the lot home. Now the soil is moist. this will give the plant the additional support it needs whilst it settles in. Place the root ball onto the soil and then start filling in around it to make sure it is well supported. If they've got any Lemon Grass. If you want some extra brownie points. will collapse then you take it out of it's pot. to make sure the soil is firm. . then I can offer that service. just to bring it up to the top of the container.and enough containers to hold all the flowers you've just chosen. In this situation. Please be patient. the key is a slow. Pour some soil mix into the bottom of the container. this will stop the soil flowing out with any surplus water. you will need to water it. Now the time has come to start creating your little haven. if it isn't it. gentle supply of water. give it a good watering to moisten up the soil. Put some old broken pots. which indicates it's been left in a pot thats too small for too long. see if it comes up the right level. you follow this link. it will save you having to come back later to find out your plant hasn't been watered correctly and is now a nice shade of yellow/brown. take the plant carefully out of its pot by tipping it up. check the root stock. then why not add some bark chippings or mulch. then get that as well it will come in useful in the next chapter. start tamping it down. Is it root bound? Plants are root bound when there is a tight ball of roots. With your hand or a trowel. Place some more soil on top. maybe from a slowly running hose or watering can. This can be tricky. Now wasn't that easy? If you want a bee friendly planting guide created for your garden. it helps keep the water in the container. Now put the plant in the pot. Tease the roots out with your finger tips to ensure they can expand once they're in their new home. enough to give a depth of about 2 inches. You need to make sure that the soil is moist. Although you've added a nice moist plant into a well soiled container. which means the plant will produce more nectar. Time to check your plants.

These would nest in tunnels left by beetles in the ground. These were a lot more stable than the mud tunnels and certainly required less work from the bees. The first bees evolved from solitary hunting wasps. if not before. climb up to them in a hope of extracting the honey from the nest. like most invertebrates. Hives have become such a symbol of bees. This practice carried on for many years. bees would rely on self cleaning and ensuring that anything that might cause infection was as far away from the nest as possible. that it is easy to forget the bees natural origins. trees provided a natural solution to this. and these would have made their tunnels in trees. or disinfect a potential source of disease. and the importance they play in how bees evolved. These tunnels weren't always available. they lack the necessary biological systems that later evolving vertebrates have. a sticky residue is excreted by the tree around it to ensure it is free from infection. Trees came to play an important part in this system. Instead. For many years (and indeed still in some countries) bees lived in trees. along with some poor creature that would become the food for the wasp larvae when it emerged. and then lowered when we wanted to collect the honey. laying their eggs. As bees evolved. However. Our first attempts at cultivating bees were basically logs that were hauled into trees. are a relatively recent development. after heavy rains or in particularly dry periods. wood burrowing beetles existed in the first days of the bees. Propolis has long been known to have some very power antibacterial qualities. of which there were many. When a bud is developing. . and use it where they felt the nest may be at risk. which is how they're recorded in the Doomsday book. They would go out looking for nests of bees in trees. The first beekeepers weren't keepers at all. indeed we have used it in medicine since the time of the Greeks. propolis. at least as far as bees are concerned. they would either collapse or be too hard to work. they never really bothered evolving an immune system. to plug holes. Bees would collect this. in fact they were honey hunters. 6 OF BEES AND TREES B ee hives.

Go on plant a tree. make the bees happy. it lays on the ground and rots. dig the log pile a couple of inches into the ground. make a log pile with it. Unfortunately. This may not seem like a big deal. mycelium. So what can you do to help? The first thing is to plant trees. In fact it has been shown that 6 fully flowering fruit trees is equivalent to an acre of wild flower meadows. Propolis has many qualities. which usually means ending up in the bottom of the hive. When a branch falls. usually focusing around it's strong antiseptic nature. It eventually forms a white mould over the branch as it decays. which eats mites like Varroa for breakfast (actually for dinner and supper as well). roll it into balls and use chew it to cure everything from a sore throat to bad breath. Stratiolaelaps scimitus. I always favour fruit trees as they provide a lot of nectar. Much better to get the bees to travel to the mites. but they will always try and return to their native home. over recent years we have seen a large decrease in the number of trees in our gardens. This can even be seen today. . and certainly live longer than those that aren't. Modern day beekeepers will take it from the hive. and are much more resistant to diseases. After a branch has fallen. If you want to go the extra mile. where the mite can feast as it wants without having to worry about getting home. the tests in the US seem to indicate that the bees live up to 33% longer when fed mycelium. or even better make it into chippings and make those into a pile. Some beekeepers will add Stratiolaelaps scimitus to their hives to pray on any varroa. In fact. Most people would have a strong urge to tidy the branch away. It has recently been shown that bees who are fed mycelium are generally stronger. But while this branch is rotting fungi grows on it. But this isn't the only medicinal benefit that trees offer to bees. Down there lives another mite. Anything that helps build a bees strength will help counteract the effects of the Varroa mite. where an unsuspecting mouse as tried to hibernate in the relative warmth of a bee hive. but when you think that the main issue caused by the Varroa mite is the bees weakening due to a lack of blood (the varroa mite basically sucks the bees blood). only to end up mummified in propolis. on the log piles or chippings piles. clearing the space. Bees have evolved a very strong symbiotic relationship with trees.

they will drown. cooling it down. bees carry water in. Lemongrass has a smell similar to the homing pheromone bees use when they are swarming. My favourite method for keeping bees watered is with moss. it's difficult to prove it benefits the bees any. Bees are very poor swimmers. but it feels right that it should. ever. When choosing stones. Putting stones in a shallow end so its just above the water level helps. If you don't have a pond. Personally. told you they would be useful). If you already have moss in your garden. . Reeds can be useful as a raft but not ideal. I prefer rain water from my water butt than tap water - however. If you have a pond with loads of lovely water in. But not just to drink. but nothing for bees to stand on. then you can encourage it to spread by keeping it damp with a mister. Moss looks good (in my humble opinion) and retains water on its surface from any rain. I would seriously suggest you get your stones from an aquatic supplier. and then fan it across the hive. Bees have no risk of drowning. any type of container filled with stones and then add water up to just below the top of the stones. These haven't the residue from manufacturing that can poison bees. The problem with most water supplies is the risk of drowning. in fact for poor read can't. so it will attract more bees to your watering hole. 7 WATER A s with all life. water is essential to a bees continuing existence. Add a few Lemongrass leaves (see. If it gets too warm in the hive. Bees use water as their own internal air conditioning system for the hive. Because it is only small amounts of water. You can give it an extra helping hand by spraying it with an alkaline mixture of buttermilk (or powdered milk) and water in a 1:1 ration. at all.

.You can also transplant moss using this mixture (about a cup of each). put it in a blender with a handful of moss you've collected from a similar environment. You can either pour this slurry onto the area you want the moss to grow or you can paint it on (even creating your own moss artwork). All you need to do now is keep it moist and the moss will grow.

seed and clay. and leave it. it's great for kids to do (like there was ever a time when kids turned down an opportunity to get their hands dirty) . there are still things you can do to help save the bees. Instead of thinking about containers as just for patios and decking. without having an inch of garden space. You may well live in a flat or an apartment that doesn't even have a garden. A seed bomb is quite simply a little pall of fertiliser. even if your garden amounts to a space no bigger than a postage stamp. in fact some of the best work I've seen has been done by people who haven't got a garden of their own. 8 PLANTING WITHOUT A GARDEN Y ou don't need a garden to help bees. Nature will do the hard work and help the seeds grow in the next rain fall. No worries. Of course. Well. there will come a time when you just won't want to be limited to your own space - bees just need more flowers. It really is that simple. You throw it at your target. there is a way you can plant acres of flowers. I have seen people plant thousands of bee friendly flowers. Let me introduce you to the world of seed bombing. why not create some bee friendly window boxes? See the section on planting for bees to get more information on creating containers for plants.

get them to make a wish over it for lots of bee friendly flowers. now I know you won't ignore that advice. Take aim and throw. It is worth mentioning (well according to my solicitor) that you should only throw the balls at land you have permission from the land owner to do it on. Mix with a little water until it forms a dough like consistency Form into small balls and put in egg cartons to dry until not sloppy. .The method is great and simple as well - Take 2 cups of powered red clay (I would recommend using powdered clay after I had to break up a load of clay on my first attempt - not fun). Add 1 cup of fertiliser Add a small child's handful of wildflower seeds To deter the birds and mice add a little chilli powder If you're lucky enough to be doing this with a child.

this can be for a number of reasons (extreme hunger being the main one). 9 EMERGENCY RESCUE A t any time of year you may see a bee on the ground. bee can taste through their feet and the syrup can provoke them into action. a few minutes of this and she will have had enough and fly off. when the bee cleans the icing sugar . Bees can also become ground bound when they have got wet. which will just make the whole situation worse. She just needs a teaspoon of the thick (2:1) sugar syrup that you can find in the recipes section. Stand her in a large drop of sugar syrup. Now sprinkle the bee with icing sugar. There are times when the bee can seem comatose. Cobwebs can create awkward problems for bees. SLOWLY. If you see a bee caught in a web. take stalk of a plant (a supple one is best). Trace a line through the web around the bee. It's probably a long way from home and run out of reserves of food. A nice little trick is to gently blow on the bee to move the water particles off her wings. you want to help the bee leave with as little web attached as possible. the sugar will stick to the remains of the web. without panicking it. where there will be plenty of food reserves for her. She will then fly back to her nest. You can help this little lady on her way back home - and it's incredibly easy. The damp means they are unable to use their wings properly to fly. pretty much crawling along. even after they've escaped from the web. the stick threads can hamper their flight. This is generally a bee that's been out collecting nectar and got a little over enthusiastic in it's efforts.

. it will also pull of a large proportion of the remaining web.of itself.

before you start running off screaming. Well strictly speaking you will get a link where you can download it from. let's just clarify what I mean by environmental issues. just sign up and you'll get it delivered every month to your inbox. The planet is changing. So let's make it easy. as well as being packed with bee and flower lore and interesting information (all bee related of course) all that for just per month. Explaining the whole bee/weather relationship is beyond the scope of the four hours. we've had a few of those). the seasons are changing. For animals that respond to weather patterns (as bees do) this can be life threatening. . How do you get it? You can find it here. I've created the Wild Bees Journal. It also explains a bit about the why and how as well. Now helping bees with this does not involve any Sci-fi style gadgetry or a laser-powered-weather- changing machine. and would involve an amount of highly paid therapy work afterwards. 10 DEALING WITH ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES O K. This quite simply will tell you what you need to do for bees in response to what the environment is doing in your area. It does involve understanding how bees are going to react to unseasonal weather conditions (and let's face it.

These are all easy to make recipes that really do help bees. 11 RECIPES FOR BEES Appendix - Recipes for Bees Your essential recipes to help bees. these are intended as a rough guide (but don’t go mad). . No cooking skill required (and I should know). You don’t need to be exact about the measurements.

when there is new brood around I use a 2:1 mixture. but in most cases it won't matter. this doesn't warm the mixture too much and makes a nice smooth mixture. In the early to mid summer. 12 SUGAR SYRUP T his is a base sugar syrup recipe (what a beekeeper may call a 1:1). (Makes about 3 cups of sugar syrup) 1 Small bag of white granulated sugar (454g / 1lb) (for 2:1 use 2 bags of sugar) 2 cups of water I put in a blender for 4 minutes. then please add some Thymol (recipe later) this will stop any fermentation within the sugar syrup while it's being stored. this can increase it's levels of HMF ( Hydroxymethyl Furefural) to dangerous levels. If you are planning on making a batch of this. which isn't good for bees. . If you are thinking about heating the syrup to make mixing easier. you can vary the amount of sugar you use for different times of the year dependent on the bees needs.

stir well. as fermented sugar syrup will give bees dysentery (which isn't pleasant). Be really careful with Thymol crystals. 13 THYMOL T hymol is used to prevent fermentation of sugar syrup when it is stored for any length of time (like over winter). will look just like a jar of milk. these things are NOT PLEASANT if mishandled. and place this jar into a water bath of boiling water. If you want to make larger batches of sugar syrup. Stir frequently until most of the lecithin granules have dissolved (this will take about 10 minutes) simply add the dissolved thymol to this mix. place jar into a water bath of boiling water to speed up the dissolving process. In another jar pour in 140 ml of boiling water and add lecithin granules. and shake well. then it's 1 tsp per gallon (20 cups). add isopropyl alcohol to the crystals. 30g Thymol Crystals 5 ml isopropyl (surgical) alcohol 1 tsp Lecithin granules (available online or from health food shops) Put the thymol crystals placed in glass jar. . read everything on the pack when you get it and TAKE HEED. For the previous sugar syrup recipe you will need just a drop of thymol to keep it from fermenting.

it can cause the babies to starve. This is a recipe for a dried pollen substitute. 4 cups soy flour (or pea flour) 1 cup brewers yeast 1. it isn't any near as good as pollen. You can put this is in a bird feeder. and the bees will feed there. bees need pollen to feed them. when the baby bees (brood) are at their highest numbers. If there is a shortage of nectar at this time. but at times of need.5 cups non-fat dry milk (not instant) 1 tsp of vitamin C Mix it all together and it will make a dry powder that bees will take as a pollen substitute. . bees will take it. 14 POLLEN SUBSTITUTE D uring the summer months.

mix in all other ingredients and blend for 4 minutes (I use a hand blender) You will only need 1 teaspoon per litre of water/sugar syrup or you can mix into pollen patties. I typically add it to any sugar syrup to give bees that added buzz. In the hive.5 lbs white granulated sugar 1/8 tsp lecithin crystals 1 tsp spearmint oil 1 tsp lemongrass oil 1 tsp tea tree oil 1 tsp winter green (checkerberry) oil Heat water gently. 15 BEE HEALTH SUPPLEMENT T his is an additive for all bee food types. the bees I have fed this to certainly seem to be healthier. . 1 Litre water 2.

He runs regular workshops at historic houses. just to avoid the risk of getting lazy. Since that time he has spent every day being taught proper stuff by bees. to ensure the safety of bees around humans. helping people discover the magic of bees and how they can help save them. When he's bored he does a bit of writing and rescues dogs. and of course taste a bit of honey. A passionate advocate of Solitary Bees. and is now a regular on Instagram. He also does talks about bees and has a travelling hive which he takes to schools so children can reconnect with bees. where he's discovered he can bully lots more people into helping bees. before live changing events persuaded him to go and get proper job. England. No doubt Instagram will pick up on this soon enough and kindly ask him to desist. he runs training courses on Solitary Bee husbandry. He is now the head beekeeper and bee nerd at Turton Tower in Lancashire. . He recently discovered his IPhone had a camera on it. He has earned a reputation as a lively and enthusiastic presenter who really spreads his passion for bees far and wide. ABOUT THE AUTHOR For 20 years Damian Appleby worked in the corporate services sector.