Befriending the bees…
For many, the thought of any flying, stripy insect fills them with fear. The American musician Moby confesses to not knowing the difference between bees and wasps but soon found that once he understood their importance – and that they really weren’t interested in him – he became a fan. So much so that he filled in his LA swimming pool and created a pollinator friendly garden!
For Jemima, the three and half year old granddaughter of Surrey’s Assistant County Organiser, Di Grose, her fear of bees was becoming quite a serious issue.
“Jemima was absolutely petrified of bees,” explains Di. “She would run away from them screaming at the top of her voice. We felt that this behaviour could lead to problems and may even attract bees if it was allowed to continue.”
The cure lay not far away with our National Garden Scheme bee blogger and garden owner Colin David.
“I knew Colin kept bees and I asked him whether I could take Jemima along to have a look at where the bees ‘lived’ to help her better understand them. Colin showed Jemima the hives and explained about bees and how they collect pollen to make honey, as well as how important it is that bees carry out this job to help pollinate other plants.
“Jemima was fascinated and soon enthralled by the story of bees flying to collect pollen to take it home and make honey. She’s now more than happy with bees and always looks at them when they are on plants and tells us that they are collecting pollen to make honey.”
In fact, any bees Jemima now sees, anywhere, are Colin’s bees.
“Understanding bees and knowing that they really aren’t interested in us, but just with the business of being bees, collecting pollen, making honey, supporting their colony, is so important to building the tolerance and respect that these vital little insects deserve,” adds Colin.
You can discover more when Colin opens Southlands Lodge for a special pop-up Bee Opening for the Big Bee Challenge weekend on Sunday 1st August (pre-booking essential) Click here for more