Jersey Beekeepers Association - Open Field

Jersey Beekeepers Association - Open Field

23 July 2017 10:00

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Giving back to nature

As many of you will have seen in the press earlier this month the Jersey Beekeepers Association (JBKA) recently held the official opening of its Bee Field at Bolivot, St Saviour.

However, please dont assume from this, that it’s a project solely aimed at honey bees..!

We at the JBKA, and Bob Hogge our Ex-President, who kindly bought, and then donated the use of this field to us, are very keen to improve the biodiversity of the field in the widest possible terms. To this end a small amount of pollinator friendly planting has already taken place, and it is hoped that two ponds will soon be created to encourage a great diversity of wildlife.

Although, an Apiary (a place where beehives of honey bees are kept) has been created, where you can see examples of the various different types of honey bee hives currently in use, ranging from the tradition National and WBC to the newer Poly Hives (polystyrene) there is also the recently developed Flow Hive from Australia, as well as the environmentally friendly Top Bar Hive. However, these only take up a small part of the field, currently there is a bee safe viewing enclosure, so that visitors can safely see what a beekeeper does at his bee hives.

At our formal opening earlier this month, due to the nature of the event, guests were limited to those officially invited, and our own members. So we were unable at that time to invite members of other local environmental groups, other than some individuals who had already been involved in our project.

But we now want to remedy this by inviting members of our various local environmental groups to celebrate Pollinator Awareness Week and Bees Needs, with us, this is a UK wide series of events run by The Wildlife Trusts, supported by DEFRA, and many other nature groups around the UK.

This is part of their information pack...

Pollinator Awareness Week is a great opportunity to engage people about the importance of pollinators.

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.

As a result of the way the landscape has changed over the last 50 or more years, not all insect pollinators can readily find the food and shelter they need. Our Call to Action seeks to address this, and shows that by taking a few simple actions, together we can meet Bees Needs.

Therefore it is our intention to open the Bee Field on Sunday 23rd July between 10am and 1pm and invite you to join us to carry out a full species baseline survey, of the flora and fauna currently present....or....just have a walk around and a cup of tea... Our intention is that this will become an annual event, which will identify and record, a noticeable year on year increase in the number of species that have been attracted to the field, as we return it to a more natural setting...

I am pretty confident that there will be something for everyone, from flowers and plants, bugs, bee’s and butterflies to Buzzards and Marsh Harriers.....

Refreshments and cakes will be provided, there will even be a macro photography station available.