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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Soup has never been easier!

If you have read my previous post, you will know that this week I have been suffering from the worst flu I have ever had!

Thankfully for me, I had planned my weekly meals.

One of these meals was lunch to take to work! Monday and Tuesday was a rice dish. The next 3 days was soup!

I find most shop bought soups don’t fill me up. I need my soup to be chunky and full of textures, so making my own is the perfect option.

On Tuesday evening, I had a Tesco delivery coming. With it was the key ingredient for my soup! Tesco does an amazing bag of chopped vegetable for soup. It is packed with chopped carrots, swedes, potatoes, onions and parsley. I know you can chop your own up, and it maybe slightly cheaper, but when you work full time, sometimes it’s worth taking a little shortcut.

The bag contains 720g, so makes 3 generous portions.

I pop this into my slow cooker along with a mug of dried red lentils, 1 pint vegetable stock, tin of chopped tomatoes and some ground pepper. I then leave it on low overnight. It is as simple as that!

If you like your soup smoother, just pop it into a blender. If you like it wetter, add more water ! It is really that easy!

Waking up Wednesday feeling as poorly as I did to such an easy tasty soup was heaven.

The plan was to spoon it into 3 microwaveable dishes for the week ahead, to put in my daily lunch boxes . Whilst I was no longer going to work, knowing I had 3 ready made, healthy lunches in my fridge, was a life saver!

This is one of the easiest, tastiest soups you will ever make. It took me seconds to throw it into the slow cooker, but will give me 3 days of lunches!

If that doesn’t get you running for your slow cooker how about the cost? This pot did 3 portions at around 60p a serving! The average chunky soup in a can costs from 75p to over £1!

Still not convinced? Ok! This is one of the easiest, tastiest soups you will ever make. How about it being totally free on Slimming World, compared to 5.5 syns and above for tinned chunky soups!

I read quite a lot that doing Slimming World is expensive. It doesn’t have to be! It also doesn’t mean you have to spend hours in the kitchen!

Give it a try! Experiment with ingredients! You won’t regret it!