We have some bee-witching visitors in the garden for the summer, a swarm of 200 crocheted bees! Blagdon residents may have already seen them in the village orchard and at the village fete. Now we’re very pleased to have these cuddly honeys with us in the organic garden to raise money for real bees, a species under threat.
We’re not quite sure whose brainwave these bees were, Blagsaey are a secret society taking inspiration from local artist Banksy and running different artistic projects in Blagdon and the surrounding area. The bee crocheters didn’t even know what they were making, telling us ‘we were given the pattern, the wool and the time and just got told ‘make that!’. A spokesperson for Blagseay did tell us that ‘once they got all the dome shapes back from the local crocheters, it took 17 minutes to sew them together, stuff them and add the eyes, wings and accessories!
The final installation is a culmination of all those hours of work from so many in the community and it’s definitely something they can all be proud of – not too shab-bee!
Having the bees installed in the garden has really got us thinking about what more we can do to stop the further decline of this country’s bee population. John, our resident bee keeper had a few words for us: ‘Bees are responsible for the pollination of our food, they really look after us so we need to look after them back. One thing we can do is to call someone to come and move bees that are in the wrong places rather than getting pest control out to spray them.’ Barnaby from the Bee Conservation Trust had another idea: ‘plant the right kind of wild flowers, even a small pot on your windowsill can help a lot. Bumble bees can only fly for around 40 minutes on 1 lot of nectar, so we need to let them top up again! Habitat loss is the biggest issue for bees , since WW2 we’ve lost over 95% of wildflower meadows. We work a lot with farmers to re-introduce this habitat to their land wherever possible and as a community, they’re doing so much to work towards this goal.’
You can buy one of our bee trails, not only raising money for bee conservation but also hunting out the bee answers and enjoying a joke or two (what’s a bees favourite sport? Rug-bee!). Completed trails will get you a free ice cream in the garden café – wasp not to love??
The Organic Garden is open from 11am until 5pm on Thursdays and Fridays during the summer – bee there or bee square!