Bee-autiful News

I've just received the bill for my plot's annual rent, but that was soon forgotten when I read in the accompanying newsletter we may be able to keep bees up at the plot in the future. This is a bit of a surprise as my allotment tenancy agreement has a clause preventing me from keeping animals. Apparently the Town Council - who own the land - have no specific objections to the idea, but we need to ensure there's a majority of tenants in favour and the bees are kept according to the National Society of Allotment & Leisure Gardeners' guidelines. It looks likely it's going to happen as next April's talk is all about beekeeping.

I'm a little unclear as to how this is going to work: it looks like I won't be able to keep bees myself, as the newsletter says the hives would be managed by a member of The British Beekeepers Association. Luckily it's our allotment show today - yes I have decided to enter - so I'll have plenty of opportunity to discuss how things are going to work and lend my support to the project later :)

If anyone else locally's interested in bees, you might like to pop along to the annual Bee and Honey Day at Lackham Country Park tomorrow. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my beekeeping friend's not only entered the 'Best Newcomer' competition, but also he does very well.

And finally a very warm welcome to any Tweehive busy bee visitors. Here's your flower for today and do make sure you visit my other Tweehive posts here, here and here for lots more nectar and pollen for you to collect :D

BTW the picture's of a very determined worker bee on a globe artichoke in The Bee Garden at Garden Organic recently.


  1. Good Morning VP (well, it is still morning here ? : )
    That is very good news about the bee acceptability on the plots ?
    I love that picture .. it is a beauty and the bees must be very happy to hear such good news too girl !

  2. This sounds very intertesing i wished i lived near you so that i could take part in it as well would love to have a bee hive, but don't have anywhere to put one and the waiting list for allotments is years. but good luck with it.

  3. It sound wonderful that there may be bees available in your plot. I've got a couple of friends who are bee keepers. Letting a professional or very experienced person take care of them is a good idea. Wonder if we could get some at the CSA farm.

  4. I'm interested in moths and butterflies mainly bit I've always fancied keeping bees. I think it's great idea to have them on allotments. Sure you'd get lots of help from the local societies too.

    You could market Veg Plotting Honey and include your labels in how they do advertising in Chippenham.

  5. When I had an allotment many years ago there used to be bee hives on a neighbouring plot.
    One day when we arrived home there was a bee swarm collected under the rocking horse in the garden, fortunately my young daughter saw it before jumping on the horse.
    We rang our allotment friend for advice and he collected the swarm and started another hive.

    I like the idea of keeping bees and we do get lots in the garden but I don't think I could deal with them in a hive.

  6. I would love to keep bees but my husband has an extraordinary allergic reaction to stings. He was stung on the foot on Sunday and swelled right up to the knee. The leg has gone down but the foot still looks odd.
    Not unsurprisingly he is not keen.
    Perhaps I will just keep on expanding the chicken empire.

  7. Joy - it's very good news. Everyone I've spoken to is really positive about it. It's still to be decided how it'll work - it might be a community bee project!

    Laura - the waiting list for allotments in our area is now 100 and we have just 300 plots. I was lucky to get mine 5 years ago when there was a choice of sites, never mind plots :)

    Deb - getting some for the CSA farm sounds perfect - it fits in so well with their philosophy doesn't it?

    Mark - I'm getting my beekeeping friend in Corsham to come and have a look at the site to where would be a good place to site hives. And I'm still chuckling at your suggestion re Veg Plotting honey and advertising! ;)

    Joanne - that's exactly how my bee keeping friend has increased his hives from just 1 to 4 in his first year. I saw the teaching apiary at our local college yesterday where you can get up close and personal to lots and lots of bees and it was fascinating.

    Elizabethm - that's a shame. I like the sound of your chicken empire expansion though.

  8. Veep, You just sent me scurrying to find out if my community garden might consider this idea. We did have a family of bumblebees roosting in an unused plot. However, beekeeping might be a less hazardous way to have the little guys working in our garden.

    By the way, your header now has Lewis Carroll stuck in my head: Sooup of the evening, bee-oo-tiful soooup.

  9. Helen - I think that's a brilliant idea. Do let me know if it comes off. Guess which song I had in mind when I dreamt up that headline...

    And thanks for Following :)

  10. Hey great news about the bee's we have had so many in our garden, it's like natures way of telling me I got it right!
    Wondered if you had seen these
    New from the people who make the eglu

  11. Hi Dave - the bees are going mad on my sunflowers and sedum at the moment, it's great :)

    Personally, I'm not so sure about the beehaus. It seems rather expensive compared with other beehives and geared towards someone wanting something a bit more 'designer' and trendy rather than actually wanting to keep bees. I'm not sure whether a plastic hive has any implications for the health of the bees either. BUT if more people successfully keep bees as a result, then I'm happy to be proved wrong. What do you think?

  12. I know what you mean their plastic hen houses are very pricey as well. I guess they are after the trendy hobby types rather than the series chicken or bee keeper. The other thing I didn't like the sound of was the bleaching to clean rather than scorching as you would with a timber hive. They do seem well designed and I had a good read of all the info and am now tempted to do the one day bee keeping course at Lackham.

  13. Hi Dave - I was wondering what they were recommending re keeping the hives clean. I don't like the sound of that at all as bees tend to be sensitive to chemicals - for instance they're not too keen on perfume. I'm tempted by that day's beekeeping course too!


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