Royal Paddocks Allotments website masthead
Nature blog - Jenny Bourne

Introducing
The RPA Nature blog with Jenny Bourne.

Watch the seasons unfold right here at our very own allotments

Click for the blog.

email icon

Any comments, ideas or suggestions for what you’d like to see on the website? Please email us.

Bees love 'em! Seed Store break-out and two for joy...

Date posted: Tuesday 4th April 2017

Bees love 'em!  Seed Store break-out and two for joy...

The fruit and ornamental blossom has been amazing this year, a rich abundance of cherry and plum blossom thickly covering the trees and the pink-white apple blossom now just appearing – the bumble bees buzzing away high among the branches are making most of the opportunities.

dandelion

At ground level there are now many early flowers out for them, including this, the scourge of many plotholders and local Councils, but to the beekeepers the humble dandelion is an invaluable early source of food for the bees! One of our beekeepers was not happy to hear that an eager strimming plotholder had been hacking back his dandelions and the Council strimmers were out in force this morning cutting back the grass and with it the dandelions – the bees the worse off for it..

On my plot the perennial wallflower is a constant source of foraging and I’m letting lamium and the pulmonaria flower where they’ve self-seeded for the bees, unless I absolutely have to remove one in the way of my new rows of peas and beans. Interesting to watch the much faster bee fly getting in among the flowers, at a much faster pace than the honey, bumbles and solitary bees that visit on a regular basis..

In my capacity of wildlife eco-warrior I’ve spent much time releasing the masses of overwintering ladyboards from our Seed Store building, where they enter by the ventilator ducts.. we had fun on Sunday during cafe, opening the folding doors to encourage them to fly off into the warm spring sunshine. Many of them were harlequins but a few native indigenous six spots amongst them, and you can’t discriminate, so off they all went..

There must have been a couple of hundred at least, clustered thickly around the ventilator and down the door; I’ve been in several times over the past fortnight and each time more seem to appear! Only two of these magpies now making regular visits to the plot, like the pair of crows hunting for biscuit crumbs after my coffee break..