The humble bee!

It’s amazing how you learn something new every day. Take Countryfile! I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea but hubby and I both love it! It’s also one of Lola’s favourite programmes too!

We have a few to catch up on, however the episode last night featured a section on the bee!

We have all heard about the decline of the bee, but do we really appreciate the importance of them?

For some, they are a nuisance. The fear of getting stung out ways anything else! But to be honest, unlike the really annoying wasp, which I really can’t be doing with, the bee is only interested in your pollen! They will only attack you if they feel attacked themselves!

So, what did I learn last night? Well, did you know there is over 270 species of bee? I didn’t! There is the honey bee, who is all fluffy and cute! They live together with their queen and other bees! The women do all the work! I had to laugh last night! When asked on the programme last night what the male does, the answer came back – they have sex and get drunk ! Sounds about right ! 😂

The other bees live in solitude. Maybe in the same area as other bees but not in groups like the honey bee!

I also learnt that some bees build their nests underground. Not what I would have said! They are also related to the ant!!

The numbers of bees are in massive decline. We have already lost around 19 species ! That is so sad!

Bees are really important. Yes they make honey? But they do a whole lot more!

Their pollination means we get the fruit and vegetables we eat every day. Without this we wouldn’t have the food on our plate!

So why are they declining? There are many reasons including loss of meadows, pesticides etc.

There is a lot we could be doing to help them though! Planting flowers and herbs that are bee friendly will really help.

Lavender is a great one! If you are not sure what to go for, most garden centres now have signs that highlight if they are bee friendly.

You don’t need to have a big garden! A few pots on your patio would be a great help.

A good water supply is essential, so a pond or water feature would be great, but if you don’t have that, how about just a bucket or bowl ?

Why not put up bee hotels in your garden for the solitude bees?

Every little helps!

So next time you are in your garden have a look around! Is there anything you could do to help keep the food we eat on our plates ?

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When you see your name in print!

Oh wow, how excited was I on 21st August , when I opened my emails?  There, in black and white, was an email from Countryfile Magazine, telling me a photo I had sent in of one of my dogs,  was selected as the winning entry, for the September edition of their magazine.  The competition was being sponsored by Halti, so I was also to receive a selection of their products!

I have been a fan of Countryfile ever since it started! Thankfully, my husband really enjoyed it too.  It has become a religion in our house now.  Every Sunday evening, we would have a roast dinner, then curl up on the sofa, to watch that weeks episode.

One day, I was sitting in a waiting room waiting for my medical.  On the table was a Countryfile magazine.  I had never seen it before, but was so absorbed in it, I was gutted when I had to go in for my appointment.

I immediately went out and subscribed to the magazine.  That was June 2012. And I’m still subscribing to it!

Every month, I have read the articles, looked at the walks and the competitions.  I have mentioned to my hubby many times that he should enter the competitions.  Both hubby and I love photography.  I have seen his photos, and I firmly believe he has some award winning pictures of his own.

I have never really thought any of mine would be good enough.  Then in July, after a trip to Isle of Skye, I saw the competition regarding pets on holiday.

I love taking photos of Fido and Lola, and had been pleased with how they had come out.  My hubby actually was the one who thought I should enter one of them into the competition.

I thought – why not!  What have I got to lose?  So on 16th July, I send off my photo.

When I received the email telling me I had won, I was absolutely shocked.  I didn’t care about the prize!  It was the fact that someone had thought my photo was good!  I couldn’t stop smiling.  Immediately, I started spreading the news!  I was now an award winning photographer!  Ok, it isn’t like I’m on TV or anything, but I was having my photo published in September’s edition of Countryfile Magazine.  I mean, Countryfile!

I have been waiting in excitement to see it in print.

Last night a friend received her copy of the magazine.  Mine hadn’t arrived, but she sent me a photo.  I was again in ‘smile’ mode!  She promised to bring me the magazine into work the next day.

When I saw it in print, it was like I had won the lottery!  Ok, most people won’t know me, but everyone who buys the magazine, will see the picture I took of Fido!

I was always into photography and competitions, just not both together!  This has given me a new motivation, to get out there and take more photos.  Learn more about my camera and  explore the countryside.

Sometimes, you just have to have confidence in your own ability.  If I hadn’t won, I wouldn’t have been disappointed, however now I have, I feel 10 feet tall.  I am very proud of myself, but more importantly, I am proud of my husbands word.  I know he takes some amazing photos too.  I will be pushing him more to get his work out there now!

Don’t ever doubt yourself.  Push yourself out there!  Sometimes, it turns into nothing, but other times, it fulfills your dreams and more!  I certainly will be doing more photographic competitions.  You never know, once day it may even get me on the TV with my photo in the Countryfile calendar!

You have to have a dream and ambition!

I have now started uploading some of my photos to YouTube.  If you are interested, subscribe to my channel.