Welcome to my website where I record information, gathered from many sources on the web and through print media, about the benefits of attracting useful creatures to our gardens. I include creatures found in my own garden and explain how they help grow healthy and productive plants without using synthetic chemical pesticides and fertilisers.................................................John Ashworth 27th July 2015.
are flying insects closely related to wasps and ants. They are major
pollinators and produce honey and beeswax from pollen and nectar
collected from the flowering plants they visit.
pollination, many flowering plants would not be able to produce fruit
and set seeds, and as a consequence many would become extinct.
are nearly 20,000 known species of bees and they are found on every
continent except Antarctica. They can be found wherever flowering
They are adapted to feeding on nectar for energy and pollen for protein and other nutrients.
They produce and store honey to feed on when nectar is not available. (e.g in cold weather).
larvae are sealed in wax cells with a supply of nectar and pollen mixed
together to form a sticky mass. This feeds them as they mature into
play an important role pollinating flowering plants, they focus on
gathering either nectar or pollen depending on demand, especially in
Bees gathering nectar may accomplish pollination, but bees that are
deliberately gathering pollen are more efficient pollinators.
is estimated that one third of the human food supply depends on insect
pollination, most of which is accomplished by bees, especially the
semi-domesticated European Honey Bee.
Many bees are
opportunistic foragers who gather pollen and nectar from a wide variety
of plants. Others gather it from just a few different types, whilst
some concentrate on a single plant species.
Pollen and nectar are usually combined and stored in a cell in the nest with an egg deposited on the
mixture. The cell is typically sealed after the egg is laid, and the adult
and larva never interact directly.
flowers can be a dangerous occupation for bees as their predators hide
in them to capture the unwary. Other bees are lost to birds in flight,
and many are killed by insecticides used on flowering plants. The
insecticides kill the bees by direct poisoning and by contaminating
their food supply.
A queen honey bee may lay 2000 eggs per day during their busiest time in spring, and she must lay
1000 to 1500 eggs per day during the foraging season to replace
is produced by bees as a food source. To produce a single jar
of honey, foraging honey bees have to travel the equivalent of three
times around the world.
bees transform saccharides into honey by a process of regurgitation.
They do this as a group a number of times until it is partially
resulting aqueous solution is still high in water content, and most of
it must be evaporated to produce the golden viscous fluid we are all
honey's natural sugars have been dehydrated, fermentation is prevented,
and added enzymes modify and transform the honey's pH and chemical
In cold weather or when fresh food sources are
scarce, bees use stored honey as their source of energy.
In my Garden
The organic gardener does not use synthetic fertilisers, insecticides or herbicides.
are plenty of natural alternatives which do not kill pollinators like
bees or beneficial predatory animals, insects and microbes.
plants and herbs are grown near and amongst fruiting plants and
vegetables to attract, feed and provide habitat for pollinators and
As a result, when the plants are harvested for food, they are not contaminated by poisonous chemical residues.