Seen at The Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Voice of the Tweehive

Firstly, a very warm welcome if you're a Tweehive participant - I'm not on Twitter, but I am one of your gardens for today - so do tell your friends I'm here. You should find a couple of flowers waiting for you on this blog - hosted by this post and another one which tells you all about my trip to Norfolk Lavender where we were surrounded by bees :)

For those of you who haven't a clue what I'm wittering on about, don't worry - I will reveal what the buzz is all about - eventually. This weekend was one of those times when lots of stuff on one topic came my way - bees in this instance. Firstly, my Diary of a Novice Beekeeper friend e-mailed me to ask if I could ID the above plant. Happily I could - it's Centaurea macrocephala and as you can see, it's attractive to bees. Thanks S, for letting me use your photo to head up this post :)

Then an ex-colleague who now works at the Soil Association (SA) alerted me to a most important e-petition they've started. You're probably aware that bee numbers are dwindling alarmingly and as a result the future productivity of our crops is under threat. Neonicotinoids have been cited as one of the contributory factors, and thus a number of European countries have banned the use of this pesticide. The SA are lobbying our government to do the same and have simplified the process of signing a government e-petition. If you live in the UK do click here, it'll just take a few seconds to add your name to the list.

Finally, Emma Cooper over at Fluffius Muffetus posted about her Blogging for Bees blog carnival she's starting this Friday. For those of you who haven't come across a blog carnival before, it's essentially a 'magazine' of blog posts on a particular topic. These can be one-offs, or as Emma would like for hers, something published on a regular basis. Each carnival is usually a synthesis of news on the chosen theme, plus links to relevant blog posts from a number of contributors. I've already submitted this post and I wish Emma every success. If you think you have something suitable to contribute, irrespective of where you are in the world, then do have a look at Emma's kick-off post for more information.

So where does the Tweehive come in? Emma also mentioned it on Saturday. It's a simulation game being played via Twitter. You can sign up to participate by joining this ning community and there's a choice of different bee roles you can adopt. On three days - today, August 7th and September 5th - the organisers will be setting tasks for the participants to complete. One of these tasks will be to go out foraging for nectar and pollen and that's where I come in. I've signed up as a gardener, so on game days any posts I've designated as being important bee or sustainability related posts - like this one - will lead to flower(s) magically appearing on my blog somewhere for any foraging bees to come and discover. If you'd like more information on what this is all about, then do have a look here. Or you can follow the game itself, by going here.

5 comments:

  1. That is neat - I've added a flower to my blog, too. Thinking about getting a hive, so this is great timing!!

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  2. This is a bit beyond me at the moment: haven't read many blogs for ages and have a lot of catching up to do: I feel that pretending to be a bee should be fun but I have not got the energy. Maybe I could be a drone: they don't really have to think much.

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  3. You beat me to it! - I was in the middle of writing something about the Soil Association's petition when I saw your post. I've stuck mine up anyway in the hope that the more people see about it, the more they're likely to sign it! Thanks for alerting me to Fluffius Muppetus's carnival too.

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  4. Interesting and commendable but I feel rather cynical after the response to the E petition on Lyme disease over two thousand signatures and what response, same old same old.

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  5. Amanda - oooh I do hope you get some bees. I'd love some myself, but sadly we don't have any space in the aspect needed for them that's not by the house. Whilst we may be OK with that, our friends and visitors probably wouldn't! My beekeeper friend S has (seriously) suggested the top of the shed would be ideal, but that slightly overlooks practical matters like getting up there to look after them!

    JAS - hello again - good to see you. Somehow I knew you'd go for being a drone - I wonder why ;)

    Juliet - that's exactly the idea. Just because you've seen it over at mine, doesn't mean all your readers have too.

    Joanne - it was the same with the allotment petition I signed last year. But my take on it is this: who knows what might happen later? If a petition shows a depth of feeling, someone somewhere in government might just get a nub of an idea lodged in their brain which prompts them to think/do something about it another time. Plus I'd rather feel I've done something positive that's in my power to do, rather than being one of the silent majority.

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