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 ?


Invasion of the Wasp

In all my life, I have never seen as many wasps as I have the last week!

It didn’t matter where I went in the house, there was a wasp.  They were in the bathrooms, lounge, kitchen, my study, hubby’s study, our ensuite etc.  It was driving me bonkers!

The one night, I popped to the loo.  Normally I don’t put the light on, but for some reason that night I did.  Phew!  Thank god I did!  There on the seat was another wasp!  Can you imagine what could have happened!  I dare not think of it!

I then saw one walking along my hubby’s study floor!

I now ensure I don’t walk anywhere in the dark!

In one day, I killed 13 wasps, and they still kept coming!

Did you know wasps only live on average 17 days.  17 days!  Can you believe that they can cause so much damage in such a short time!  The queen 12 months!

I was so bewildered by the volume of wasps, I sent a message out to my neighbours via our Facebook page!  The response back made sense! One of my neighbours had seen a swarm of them going to my roof!  So there is the expected culprit!

The question now is, is there a nest in my loft?  If there is, how are they getting into the house?  We don’t use the loft, so the door is never open?

I was recommended to close all the vents in my windows, which I quickly did!  It still didn’t stop the buggers?

This time of year, they are very sleepy.  Its great for getting rid of them as you can pick them up easily, but I worry my dogs might go for them and get stung.  My old dog Ember got stung by one once.  He had a terrible reaction and his face blew up like a football.  I’d hate that to happen to Fido and Lola!

So I’ve been researching what to do.  My brother said he had one in his loft last week.  He waited for a cold morning and got it out himself!  I was a bit worried at first, so googled it!  I now have a plan of action!

I’m going to send hubby up into the loft at the weekend – well you don’t think i’m stupid enough to do it, do you?  Oh no! Armed with a torch, he can check out whether we do have a nest or not!  If we do, I have some Nippon Wasp Nest Destroyer Foam from Amazon.  You apparently spray the nest and leave it for 24 hours.

As the weather gets cold, most of the wasps die off.   However the queen usually goes into hibernation, but not until she has mated.  In the spring she will then lay her eggs and the nest becomes active again! Its important that the nest and queen are destroyed.  She sometimes dies from starvation as there are no wasps left to feed her, but I’m not taking any chances.  She has to die, so the foam it is!

The nests are amazing constructions, and in some ways, it will be a shame to destroy it but needs must!

Wasp Nest.jpg

After 24 hours the wasps should be dead. We will put a black bag into a bucket and, using something sharp, cut the nest off where it is fixed.  It will drop into the black bag.  We have to ensure it doesn’t drop too far and burst the nest.  We will then secure the bag and bin it!

It all sounds so easy!  Eek.  I’m dreading it, but it has to be done!

To prevent them from returning, I’ve bought 2 decoy nests!  Wasps won’t build a nest near another one.  The wasp sees the decoy, and decides to go somewhere else!  Well that is the theory so I’m going to try it.

I will let you know how it goes!

Wish me luck!