Melissa Jolly Garden Design

Melissa Jolly Garden Design
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Sunday, 16 May 2010

I need bees....

I had some great advice recently - I need to self pollinate my strawberries as they are in a polytunnel and the cold weather means bees are scarce....Great - as if I didn't have enough to do. So out I went with a little paint brush to brush pollen from flower to flower. Easier said than done - pollen may be small but I was expecting my paint brush to come away from each flower bulging with pollen as the bees legs didn't happen - evolution did a good job at making bees legs magnificent pollen catchers.

Shortly after I spotted a bee in the garden and thought maybe I could catch it so I could place it gently on a flower in the polytunnel - I failed in this first attempt but will keep on trying otherwise I run the risk of irregular shaped starwberries... heaven forbid...I've heard the RHS are hard task masters - I need perfect berries.

I spent some of my University days studying honey bees in Portugal looking at their tendencies to be right or left handed - I can't quite remember the results but I have fond memories of lying in fields of lavender watching bees and have had a soft spot for them ever since. I have just bought a 'bee box' for the garden - got to look out for these important little creatures. See the Plight of the Honey Bee.


  1. sounds idylic being in a field of lavender surrounded by bees.

  2. We just started keeping bees. We caught two feral swarms, and got a "split" from a friend. We're loving the endeavor.

    We also have native Californian bees in our garden, which is very reassuring.