NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Anybody reading this?  (Read 781 times)

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Anybody reading this?
« on: February 20, 2020, 10:05:37 am »
Dave Goulson: "The Garden Jungle" - I finally got it from them library. May just have to buy it though... and have to plant that Buddleia that has been on my "to plant" list for the last few years!
Voss Electric Fence

Polyanya

  • Joined Mar 2015
  • Shetland
    • The Creative Croft
    • Facebook
Re: Anybody reading this?
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2020, 04:39:36 pm »
Never heard of it - whats it about?
In the depths of winter, I found there was in me an invincible summer - Camus

www.thecreativecroft.co.uk

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Anybody reading this?
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2020, 04:47:23 pm »
Wild life friendly gardening - for the bees, bumblebees, earth worms, ants, moths and butterflies.... it is fascinating. Explains all the complex interactions - I guess we have all heard about ants farming aphids, but also loads about how bumblebees live etc etc.
But then I have not read that much about insects et al before, other than beekeeping stuff.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Anybody reading this?
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2020, 05:55:12 pm »
I have it on order from Amazon but it's not here yet.  We have read a couple of his bee books - most interesting and well written. I'm looking forward to this one too  8) :garden:
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Anybody reading this?
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2020, 12:02:42 pm »
My copy arrived yesterday and I've reached chapter 3 which starts with earwigs. These wonderful tiny maternal insects have long been a favourite of mine, but I didn't know that they are omnivores and eat a large number of critters which are pests to us, such as aphids. I have never understood why earwigs are so reviled and persecuted, and having read this section of the book, I understand this hatred even less.


 I have a happy memory of our postie Andrew collecting his weekly box of eggs from our honesty box.  He set off back to his van and had a peep on the way to see which colours he had that week.  When an earwig waved at him in a friendly way from amongst the eggs, he promptly dropped the box with a screech, smashing all but one of the eggs.  He looked around sheepishly in case anyone had noticed but fortunately he didn't see me.  :roflanim:  . I did tease him mercilously next time I saw him  :D


I am really enjoying this book and I'm very glad I forked out the £11 for it as I shall be referring back to it many times.  Had I known though that there's not a single illustration in there, then I would probably have got the Kindle version instead (shame on me!)
So far I agree with everything he says, and all chimes with what we are trying to achieve here in our gardens and smallholding.
Going by what I have read so far, I do recommend the book, as did Anke, to anyone remotely interested in growing their own food and in running a smallholding.  Mind you, I have many more chapters to go.
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Anybody reading this?
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2020, 03:10:58 pm »
I will definitely plant some of the plants he suggests!

Scarlet.Dragon

  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Anybody reading this?
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2020, 05:44:20 pm »
No, but I've just got involved with a SCOTFWAG sponsored project for the birds and bees.  It involves planting an area of ground with "species rich" seed, putting up bug hotels, bird boxes and feeders and undertaking the bird count... I'm hoping it's a success and if so, I'll be turning more of my permanent grassland over to the same seed mix.

It's not wildly different from what I've been doing for the past decade... I periodically oversow with species rich grazing mixes and have developed a healthy looking sward over most of the croft (although I never get much luck with the cornflowers re-seeding for some reason).  Fingers crossed this new "official" mix will do a better job than the stuff I've sown previously.
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Anybody reading this?
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2020, 10:34:29 pm »
I think that if the plants sown don't like the conditions then they will not reseed.  I have never seen wild cornflowers near here, but you do have to have bare patches for them to get a start each year.  I worry that some seed mixtures are generic, containing plants from all over Britain, from a variety of soil and climate types, so only some will thrive in any specific place, no matter how well you grow them. Do you know what is in your new mix, or who produces it?
My own watery meadow is suffering from not having the grass cut - it will have to be scythed by hand as they are young tree establishing there, and no one has had time, so rough clumps of coarse grasses are taking over.  I have had no success with seeds except with clover and one type of 'species rich' grazing mix oversown in just one field.  Maybe we should try again  :idea:  as you are doing.  It's so wet here now that we need to stay off the land.
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

Polyanya

  • Joined Mar 2015
  • Shetland
    • The Creative Croft
    • Facebook
Re: Anybody reading this?
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2020, 06:46:42 am »
It sounds fascinating - I grow and garden for birds and bees and some insects - I've had a unexplainable phobia about certain insects - used to be terrified of spiders and worms now I value the work they do and even rescue spiders when they fall into the dog's water bowl. Sadly this new found acceptance doesn't extend to earwigs (sorry Fleecewife), they are my nemesis and freak me out especially up here as we get masses of them and they tend to come into the house in the autumn, but.......I didn't know they were maternal! Maybe if I read the book I'd see them differently. I would love to be able to keep bees in Shetland but I've been told there aren't enough flowers for them!
In the depths of winter, I found there was in me an invincible summer - Camus

www.thecreativecroft.co.uk

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Anybody reading this?
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2020, 07:06:18 am »
I think Shetland is just a bit too far north for honeybees - that said I have a hive that seems to thrive on being let go feral - I have not opened it and not taken honey since it was re-colonised by a swarm a few years ago. I had lost all my colonies slowly over the years, not helped by intensive arable farming (incl neonicitinoids on the rapeseed etc), but the hives are still in-situ. These incoming bees survived the "beast from the east" without any extra feed and being so late in the winter I was sure they would die. I think human management doesn't suit bees very well... but it means no honey either.

Now of course I am worried that with the UK being "free" of EU rules many of the nasties are going to come back in use...

ZacB

  • Joined Apr 2012
  • Suffolk
Re: Anybody reading this?
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2020, 08:22:44 am »
I think Shetland is just a bit too far north for honeybees - that said I have a hive that seems to thrive on being let go feral - I have not opened it and not taken honey since it was re-colonised by a swarm a few years ago. I had lost all my colonies slowly over the years, not helped by intensive arable farming (incl neonicitinoids on the rapeseed etc), but the hives are still in-situ. These incoming bees survived the "beast from the east" without any extra feed and being so late in the winter I was sure they would die. I think human management doesn't suit bees very well... but it means no honey either.

Now of course I am worried that with the UK being "free" of EU rules many of the nasties are going to come back in use...

Hives are an artificial home for bees and I’d say need to be managed/monitored - not surprising your colonies have died off over the years. I sincerely hope they didn’t die off due to notifiable nasties such as EFB/AFB!
Truly feral bees in a suitable dwelling have a whole eco system within the community - this you won’t get within the restrictions of an artificial dwelling.
You’re not doing bees or fellow beekeepers any favours by leaving old equipment out in fields.

Buttermilk

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Anybody reading this?
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2020, 09:14:55 am »
I do not know about Shetland but my sister keeps bees in Orkney.

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Anybody reading this?
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2020, 02:43:37 pm »
I think Shetland is just a bit too far north for honeybees - that said I have a hive that seems to thrive on being let go feral - I have not opened it and not taken honey since it was re-colonised by a swarm a few years ago. I had lost all my colonies slowly over the years, not helped by intensive arable farming (incl neonicitinoids on the rapeseed etc), but the hives are still in-situ. These incoming bees survived the "beast from the east" without any extra feed and being so late in the winter I was sure they would die. I think human management doesn't suit bees very well... but it means no honey either.

Now of course I am worried that with the UK being "free" of EU rules many of the nasties are going to come back in use...

Hives are an artificial home for bees and I’d say need to be managed/monitored - not surprising your colonies have died off over the years. I sincerely hope they didn’t die off due to notifiable nasties such as EFB/AFB!
Truly feral bees in a suitable dwelling have a whole eco system within the community - this you won’t get within the restrictions of an artificial dwelling.
You’re not doing bees or fellow beekeepers any favours by leaving old equipment out in fields.
The bees have been living in their "artificial" home for more than 3 years now and doing fine thank you. My colonies died off as I found the queens were not very fertile, and swarming was a real problem. Cutting the queens' wings didn't help either, so in the end I gave up. This feral colony has survived well without any additional feeding, nor any varroa treatment and without the the added stress of weekly checking the hive - I know they are fine.

Polyanya

  • Joined Mar 2015
  • Shetland
    • The Creative Croft
    • Facebook
Re: Anybody reading this?
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2020, 09:21:32 am »
I think Shetland is just a bit too far north for honeybees - that said I have a hive that seems to thrive on being let go feral - I have not opened it and not taken honey since it was re-colonised by a swarm a few years ago. I had lost all my colonies slowly over the years, not helped by intensive arable farming (incl neonicitinoids on the rapeseed etc), but the hives are still in-situ. These incoming bees survived the "beast from the east" without any extra feed and being so late in the winter I was sure they would die. I think human management doesn't suit bees very well... but it means no honey either.

Now of course I am worried that with the UK being "free" of EU rules many of the nasties are going to come back in use...

Sadly I know you're right on all counts  :'(
In the depths of winter, I found there was in me an invincible summer - Camus

www.thecreativecroft.co.uk

Polyanya

  • Joined Mar 2015
  • Shetland
    • The Creative Croft
    • Facebook
Re: Anybody reading this?
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2020, 09:27:04 am »
I do not know about Shetland but my sister keeps bees in Orkney.

Yes Buttermilk I hear there is a Beekeeping Association there and there is someone in Shetland who used to keep bees, not sure if they still do but for some reason refused to sell me any  :thinking: I did try the honey once but found the flavour similar to golden syrup - I buy organic heather honey and have some everyday on sourdough toast  - yum.
In the depths of winter, I found there was in me an invincible summer - Camus

www.thecreativecroft.co.uk

 

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