Vegetable Garden

Sunday Snap ~ Sleepy bees

August 4, 2013

It seems appropriate to share another bee photo given the challenges they’re facing.

This little one was taking a rest on the salads that have gone to seed in our polytunnel, helping to ease my conscience that I haven’t spent much time in there of late. The fact that she was so still and quiet made me worry though… is she poorly or just sleeping after a busy day?

Bees and PollenAlarmingly, a recent BBC2 Horizon report stated that in South West China wild bees have been eradicated by pesticide use and lack of natural habitat. Apple and pear orchards are now being hand pollinated as a result.

However, there is still hope. In the US and Europe it’s been found that simply planting strips of wildflowers alongside fields on farms and along roadside verges and leaving areas of natural vegetation in forests can help to boost pollinator populations enormously.

So on behalf of the bees, if you haven’t done so already I’m making a plea for you to grow more bee friendly flowers, allow more wildflowers to flourish and to stop using pesticides. There are alternatives to spraying the bugs and weeds you don’t want in your garden. It might take a little time and inconvenience until balance is restored but in the meantime you’ll get used to seeing holes in the leaves and the odd weed appearing in your pathway. You’ll begin to notice more butterflies, hoverflies, lacewings and pollinators visiting your flowers and come to accept it all as part of natures pattern.

What’s a little inconvenience compared to life without bees?



  • Reply Colette August 4, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Fantastic shot, Dee. I’m halfway through watching that documentary on Bees. Makes for very interesting viewing so far.

    • Reply greensideupveg August 4, 2013 at 1:17 pm

      Thank you Colette, that means a lot coming from someone who takes such beautiful photos 🙂 I wish I’d recorded the documentary as only caught the last half an hour. Hopefully it will be on again soon.

      • Reply Colette August 4, 2013 at 1:32 pm

        Thank you, very kind of you to say so. I am very jealous of that shot (in a nice way, of course!) and just adore the detail. You might be able to get the show on BBC iplayer.

        • Reply greensideupveg August 4, 2013 at 8:02 pm

          Unfortunately it’s not available here. Will keep looking out for it, perhaps it will turn up somewhere 🙂

  • Reply Dr Hows Science Wows (@sciencewows) August 4, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    What a fantastic photo Dee, just been taking photos of my three kids watching all the bees and butterflies on the lavender this morning. Delighted to see them there, especially after seeing the Horizon program you mention.

    • Reply greensideupveg August 4, 2013 at 1:19 pm

      Thanks Naomi! It’s good to hear about children taking an interest in the pollinators and not growing up with a fear of them 🙂

  • Reply briony mee August 4, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    I have caught bees having a nap but I think this warm weather affects them I rescue the bees that get stuck on my hot porch they seem to loose their way out and die I think from heat and thirst. Sure would be too warm in poly too.

    • Reply greensideupveg August 4, 2013 at 7:50 pm

      Hi Briony, thanks for that. It was much cooler in the tunnel this weekend but you may well have been right. Next time I’ll try and offer it a drink and see if it perks up 🙂 she’s gone now.

      • Reply briony mee August 9, 2013 at 3:48 pm

        i believe bit sugar water can revive them

        • Reply greensideupveg August 9, 2013 at 6:24 pm

          I think I’ve heard that Briony, thanks I’ll try it next time 🙂

  • Reply cathsveggies1 August 4, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    Yes, some bees seem lethargic alright. Today my grandson found one on Lavender and could not fly. Yesterday I found one floating upside down in the pond, our german shepherd put his nose in and it clung to it, he shook it off and I don’t know where it went ! We do encourage them with plants as much as we can. I am more aware of their demise lately !

  • Reply Dawn C August 5, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Lovely Photo. I was wondering if anyone knows why my bees are dying. The garden is absolutely crawling with bees and hover flies at the moment, but everyday I am fishing out bees from the paddling pool and buckets. They appear to be dopey, are they drunk from all the nectar and just miss judge the water? Is it just part of nature? It breaks my heart to see so many everyday.

    • Reply greensideupveg August 5, 2013 at 11:59 am

      Dawn I don’t know the answer. I was looking for parasites on this one but couldn’t see anything. It’s such a worry. I’ll keep searching and see if I can find out.


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