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On Gardeners World last night Monty said there was a mobile app to help identify bees and that details could be found on this site .... but I can't find anything!! Can anyone help please?



  • I posted it a few weeks on another thread

    I have no association with Friends of the Earth.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 81,360

    This website is for the GW magazine.

    The website for the GW programme is here


    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • John JohnsJohn Johns Posts: 1

    Monty also had a great wooden beehive which I am very interested in, how do I find it on this site

  • Beekeeper2Beekeeper2 Posts: 2

    As a long-time viewer of Gardener’s World, a beekeeper and member of the British Beekeepers Association, I watched this week’s segment on top bar hives with interest and concern.

     Honeybees are at risk across the world, so it’s important to encourage people to be ‘bee friendly’, but Monty Don’s report has, if anything, increased bees’ vulnerability. In less than five minutes he managed to misinform the public in a way that is very dangerous for bees.

     To begin with, local BKAs do not hand out swarms to untrained members of the public who just ask for one. Bees are under such threat that colonies are precious, and will only be given to experienced beekeepers, or people who have just completed a BBKA course and are about to embark on beekeeping with a mentor. Each year I take my turn manning the local beekeepers association swarm line. The telephone number is given by the local authority to members of the public when they report a swarm in their garden/locality. We collect the swarms and rehome them in an apiary.

     Monty Don failed then made his gravest error. He suggested that if you didn’t want to collect honey you could just leave the bees alone to get on with their lives while you enjoy the benefits. This is dangerously irresponsible. Honey bees are at risk from a parasitic mite called varroa, now endemic in the UK, which debilitates colonies so that they are vulnerable to a host of pests and diseases, four of which are notifiable. This means they are subject to statutory control, and beekeepers are legally required to report an outbreak, or suspected symptoms, to the Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA). Outbreaks are quickly spread by infected bees through surrounding apiaries, and the remedy is often destruction by fire of bees and equipment - exactly like foot and mouth disease.

     Beekeepers have a responsibility to keep their bees healthy. They receive annual visits from FERA inspectors. They are taught how to keep varroa mites under control, how to examine their hives and recognise the symptoms of diseases and pests, and what to do if they find them. To leave the bees to battle on alone encourages the spread of these killer diseases. In fact, it is why there has been such a huge decline in the number of feral colonies. If you neglect the hive in your garden you’re effectively helping bees to die out. It is proven that if it weren’t for good beekeepers, honeybees would have virtually died out already.

  • Dr Ewan Campbell a research fellow in Varroa at University of Aberdeen is on Growth Matters, a community radio horticulture programme in aberdeen just now.

    I was going to post that I would ask him about this but won't see him until the end of the month. I've emailed hastily typed up question to the show.

  • To reiterate the old saying, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing!
  • BoaterBoater Posts: 241

    Oh dear, did he at least guide people towards contacting their local BKA where they would hopefully get the correct advice and access to training etc. ?

  • Boater wrote (see)

    Oh dear, did he at least guide people towards contacting their local BKA where they would hopefully get the correct advice and access to training etc. ?

    Monty Don? 

    From the transcript.

    "As well as encouraging bees by planting I’ve gone one stage further.

    I’ve got a simple beehive. It’s called a top bar hive and it’s really just an elementary box to encourage the bees in.

    Now if I take the lid off here for a minute you’ll see what looks like a series of bars across the top. If you lift one off you can see it’s simply that, you rub beeswax on here and that attracts the bees in. There a little door down there through which they enter & they make their honeycombs attached to these bars so they hang down like that and in time they can fill a whole hive with a whole row of them and then if you want to you can simply lift them out & take the honey from it. 

    But actually you don’t even need to do that, you can just regard it as a home, a living space for wild bees. Just set it up & leave it. 

    And you can contact your local bee association and they will provide you with a swarm and you can learn how to beekeep and make honey. Either way you are going to do an awful lot to help the bee population. 

    And the beauty of this is you don’t need an orchard to place it in, you don’t need to be in the countryside, this works just as well in a small suburban garden or even a roof garden as it does in the countryside. 

  • As a seasoned no-treatment beekeeper I would like to give Beekeeper 2 an opportunity to address his own "gravest error" of which he so blithely accuses Monty Don. He may find it helpful to watch this For further education about appropriate forms of husbandry he might even wish to peruse this excellent article published by the Natural Beekeeping Trust on their website

    I am sure he will find both items informative and educational. 

    For the very reason that bees are so precious, it is salutory indeed that growing numbers of beekeepers incline towards bee-friendly methods of husbandry.

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