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Talkback: Bees at Gardeners' World Live

Help, please! One of my compost bins (rigid plastic) is infested with ants! Anyone any ideas as to what to do to get rid of them, please? I know they are making the most beautifully fine compost - but there are limits!
Thanks a lot
Jane P


  • We have a bumble bee nest inside our compost bin. When I tap the side it buzzes really loudly so there must be hundreds in there. What should I do?
  • my school is looking to build a bee area any ideas for plants?
  • A honey bee colony is very demanding and may not be appropriate for a school as they need expert attention during the holidays.
    I suggest you investigate making bee homes from bundles of short canes (see BBC bee homes) and growing lots of bee friendly plants.
  • I planted white broccoli late last year, it hasn't produced any veg yet, shall i scrap it? Also, do hedgehogs eat lots of worms as well as slugs (and snails?), I'm contemplating getting a rescued hedgehog for my garden!
  • Mrs Cullen - the loud buzzing is just the queen bee warning potential predators to stay away - there won't be hundreds of bees - at a push 150. They'll be gone by October/November so don't worry. They're very placid creatures so are unlikely to sting you. Richard Jones also has one in his compost bin, his blog about it might help put your mind at rest.
  • Because of the shortage of honey bees, due to disease etc. I make it a firm policy to plant my garden with as many bee and insect attracting flowers as possible. They have loved alliums, foxgloves, thistles and my new plant mathiasella bupleuroides 'green dream'. As these fade they are now moving on to other plants in my garden. My daughter and son-in-law keep bees so I am ever reminded of the importance of these insects. How would the world function without them, not at all, is the answer.
  • Jason if you have room for a Jasmin then plant one, I have a bee garden and the plants are in an area with the Jasmin at the back of them growing up the fence,it is fast growing and always covered with different types or bees. I have just planted another late flowering one on the other side of the garden, I call them bee bushes.Foxgloves , Lavender,Aquilegias,herbs Borrage and Chives I've found are all very good and any of the garden Geraniums. If you would like some young plants I would be happy to send some to your school.
  • Can anyone please advise me how to discourage magpies from visiting my garden? We have had blackbirds and woodpigeons building nests in the garden this year but as soon as there are eggs in the nests the magpies plunder them!
  • A Spink I'm having this problem to, the Doves are mobbing the Magpies all the time, I've seen the Magpies with a Dove egg on the shed roof, the magpies are pulling the seedom off my living roof as well as other things even though I have chicken wire over it. There dose seem to be more Magpies in my area this year than earlier.
  • Hi Jason, our school is also in the process of designing a garden- I’m pushing for part of it to be set aside especially for wildlife.
    In my tiny garden at home I have a bees nest, which was a deserted mouse hole. I attended a talk on bees last year and apparently they prefer sites such as this rather than the bumblebee nest boxes you can buy and make. If there are no obliging mice in the area apparently making holes in the soil in suitable places that have some form of ground cover helps! There are some great websites out there with advice about plants and wildlife gardens for schools. You could try or Hope this is of some help.
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