By Ron Smith
Spring has arrived with a host of Golden Daffodils along with all the other spring flowers and shrubs. It is a welcome sight after the SAD Winter.
I am seeing a few Bumble bees doing what they do best in the sunshine, however I am reminded of the terrible plight of the Honey bees which are under attack from various nasty pests and diseases which are appearing to resist the usual treatments.
The numbers of honey bees have dropped considerably in the last Decade due to the varroa mite which weakens the bee and spreads the disease, also the cold , wet summers which we have had has not helped them to pollinate the 40% of our fruit and vegetables .
Watch out and report the very nasty Asian Hornet,
If you see these in your garden you can also contact the Barnet Beekeeping club at the Town Hall, The Burroughs, Hendon. For advice.
I am going to suggest some of the plants that Bees are attracted to, we need to make our gardens more bee friendly by adding them now. Apart from thyme, rosemary, lavender, and forget me-nots , there are many more plants and shrubs which were found in the old cottage gardens.
Any Hardy Annuals, Heathers, Honeysuckle, Geranium , Salvia, Wallflower, Stocks, and Night scented stocks, Sweet peas, Aqueliga, Delphiniums, Foxgloves, Sunflowers Sedums, Michaelmas dasies, Nepeta (catmint) will be good.
Try and plant a clump of oilseed rape, bees love the bright yellow flowers, and plant some Nettles for the Butterflies in a pot, and plant it in the ground so as to stop it spreading! Thistles and Fennel seed heads attract the birds too.
With the increase in new build, front gardens are being lost to paving bricks, slate and gravel. The rear lawn is being covered in decking, and we are losing all the daises, buttercups, clover that grow there, so we need to make an effort to introduce more wild garden plants this year.
Are there any Beekeepers in Finchley? It would be good to know you!
[Editors note: There is a working beehive in the Long Lane pastures – at the top end near the railway line.]