Wolvey Environmental Group aims to promote,
preserve and protect Wolvey's wildlife
and its habitats.
In 2013 a new sub section the 'Bee Group' was formed
within the WEG,
which with the rest of our membership
hopes to encourage more bees
colonies into Wolvey
provided Bee friendly wild flower areas within the parish.
To Bee or Not to Bee?
Nature a Hand
Few would argue that the
way we live today does not have a deleterious effect on some of our
wildlife. Pressure to provide housing, roads, industrial estates and to
produce affordable food has reduced the quantity and the quality of habits
in which wildlife can thrive. Of particular interest is the decline of the
honey bee and its relatives the bumblebee and the solitary bee. Can anything
be done to help the plight of these fascinating and important insects?
Those of us with gardens can help. Many of the plants we
grow are valuable sources of pollen and nectar for bees. Especially valuable
to bees are the early flowering subjects such as snowdrops and crocuses and
the pollen on willow trees. Late flowering plants are also important: You
may have noticed the frantic activity of bees on michaelmas daisies or ice
plants on a sunny September day? So gardeners, keep up the good work!
Farming also provides bees with huge amounts of food
(albeit over large areas and for a limited time). Witness the first yellow
flowers on the oilseed rape and how relatively quickly they disappear as the
pollinated flowers develop seeds. A similar instance in the wild would be
heather moorland - a massive but seasonal food source for bees.
Fruit farmers rely on bees, from the early flowering plums
to the autumn raspberries. Farmers are acutely aware of the value of bees
and try very hard to tailor any insecticidal use so as to minimise the
impact these can have on numbers.
Varroa, a parasitic mite of bees has seriously damaged
both the productivity of hives and the resistance of bees to the other
diseases that affect them. Add to this, a cold winter and a cool slow wet
spring and it is easy to see why the bee population might suffer. However,
there is an inherent resilience in the natural world and the half reasonable
summer that followed has seen insect populations revive. Bee keepers are now
reporting a better year and butterflies, worryingly absent for most of the
year, are now seen in good numbers.
The Environment Group are actively seeking ways to improve
the lot of Wolvey's bee population. Two actions in place are enhancing an
area of the wetland with locally sourced wild flowers and managing a small
area of the Axe and Compass roundabout with bee friendly garden subjects.
How humans have altered the environment in relation to
wildlife is a complex subject. The bee population is a vitally important
element of our complex ecosystem and worthy of a bit
assistance to boost its numbers.
Bees found in the Garden
The Inmates of the Colony (Queen,
- THE BROOD
Plants recommended for pollinating insects