Spring Be – Enjoy the Beauty

Queen Buff-Tail Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) resting after emerging at Daubeney Fields Orchard.

Yesterday afternoon I spent many peaceful hours tying string to fruit tree branches to train them into optimum positions at the Daubeney Fields Orchard. I also saw two new queen bumblebees emerge from winter hibernation. Newly planted trees, especially those amongst long grass, are excellent habitat for bumblebees. Even better if the trees have blossom with nectar and pollen. The mated queen bees over winter in the soft mulch beneath the trees and then build their nests in abandoned rodent nests. Long grass increases vole populations benefiting bumblebees and kestrels (both have suffered huge declines in recent years). Hence the importance of seeing beyond 'unkempt' assumptions about long grass areas in parks.

The Daubeney Fields Orchard. Young fruit trees amidst rough grassland. Ideal habitat for bumblebees. The green string is training young apple branches down to shallow angles ideal for fruit production.

New solitary bee hotel installed on my balcony in the middle of the urban desert of Dalston, ready for early fliers such as Red Mason Bee (Osmia bicornis)

Today I installed my solitary bee hotel on my balcony today, in position ready for early fliers such as Red Mason Bee (Osmia bicornis). Thanks to Alison Benjamin and Urban Bees for materials and construction workshop. About 20 hotels were made and some are now in nearby DeBeavoiur Square thanks to LBH Parks gardener Craig and Brian from Urban Bees.

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