Posted on

Seedballs – Change your landscape and help the bees

Seedball tins now available from our store with free postage.

Launched in May 2011, Project Maya’s Seedball project aims to help increase UK urban wildflower and pollinator abundance.

Seed balls provide a simple and effective technique for growing wildflowers from seed and are based on work by the Japanese natural farming innovator Masanobu Fukuoka. Made with clay, compost and chilli powder, seed balls provide protection from seed predators and nutrients for early growth. As the seeds are encased within their own mini-ecosystem, there’s no need to plant the seed balls – just scatter on top of soil or compost and let nature take over.

Plant a seed,  change your landscape and help the bees and butterflies.

Available from our shop, Southside Food Assembly and Haddington Food Assembly.

Posted on

Found a SWARM of bees in your garden?

Save the Bees! Contact your local beekeeper first

2012-07-25 08.18.49What does a collectable swarm look like?

The picture shows a small swarm of honey bees which has gathered on a holly bush branch in a back garden. If your swarm looks like this – and is easily accessible then we may be able to deal with it. Typically bees will stay in this swarm cluster for a few hours before moving on (maybe even a couple of days).

For swarms found in East Lothian call Bryden 01875 811387

IMPORTANT: If the swarm is not out in the open, clustered and accessible we won’t be able to collect the swarm. In this situation please either contact your local council’s Pest Control Dept or a private Pest Control Contractor.

If I am not available or you are too far away try East Lothian Beekeepers Association

Why call you, do I just call pest control?
Sometimes they will call a beekeeper but failing that they’ll kill the bees! We will give them a new home and look after them.

Why do bees swarm?
Swarming is the process by which a new honey bee colony is formed when the queen bee leaves the colony with a large group of worker bees. In the prime swarm, about 60% of the worker bees leave the original hive location with the old queen.

Is the swarm dangerous?
No. Honey bees in a swarm are unlikely to be aggressive and sting anyone unless you attack the bees. At this stage they do not have a home to defend and they have filled up with honey in preparation for the flight to their permanent home. If the honey bees stay and construct a wax nest they will become aggressive if you disturb them.

What do you do with the collected swarm?
We give the colony a new home on one of our apiary sites.

Posted on

Bees’ Needs – 5 Simple Actions for Pollinators

Part of Jacobite’s strategy is to raise awareness of the pressures that pollinators are under and show ways we can help make a change. This article is from the Wildlife trust in conjunction with the Governments National Pollinator Strategy ( read it here

Insect pollinators matter. Through pollinating wild and garden plants they contribute to biodiversity. By pollinating crops they provide variety in our diets. They are valued by YOU, the public.

At least 1500 species of insects pollinate plants in the UK including bumble bees, the honey bee, solitary bees, hoverflies, wasps, flies, beetles, butterflies and moths. All have complex life cycles and specific needs. Most require food in the form of pollen and nectar, and need a home for shelter and nest building. The number of insect pollinators is highest in the summer coinciding with peak plant growth and supplies of nectar and pollen

Grow more flowers, shrubs and trees

Grow more flowers, shrubs and trees that provide nectar and pollen as food for bees and other pollinators throughout the year. For example, pussy willow, primroses and crocuses in spring, lavenders, meadow cranesbill and ox-eye daisies in summer, ivy and hebes in autumn, and mahonia shrubs and cyclamen in winter. 

2. Let it grow wild

Credit: Nadine Mitschunas, Urban Pollinators ProjectLeave patches of land to grow wild with plants like stinging nettles and dandelions to provide other food sources (such as leaves for caterpillars) and breeding places for butterflies and moths.

3. Cut grass less often

Credit: Nadine Mitschunas, Urban Pollinators ProjectCut grass less often and ideally remove the cuttings to allow plants to flower.

4. Don’t disturb insect nests and hibernation spots

Credit: Nadine Mitschunas, Urban Pollinators ProjectAvoid disturbing or destroying nesting or hibernating insects, in places like grass margins, bare soil, hedgerows, trees, dead wood or walls.

5. Think carefully about whether to use pesticides 

Think carefully about whether to use pesticides especially where pollinators are active or nesting or where plants are in flower. Consider control methods appropriate to your situation and only use pesticides if absolutely necessary. Many people choose to avoid chemicals and adopt methods like physically removing pests or using barriers to deter pests. If you choose to use a pesticide, always follow the label instructions.

 Read the full article at