Our resident Bee Green blogger Barry (also one of our bakers) notices the nature reserve changing as Winter draws ever nearer.
Autumn has well and truly arrived at Naish Farm. We have lost our swallows to Africa, but we have new arrivals dropping in. The first Redwings are busy pecking at the fallen apples from the Honeybuns orchard.
These striking thrushes have travelled from Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and Iceland to escape the brutal winters of these countries.
The trees around the farm are putting on a beautiful display of crimson, rusty oranges and gold. It definitely compensates for the mud and soggy weather.
We have several bee hotels dotted around the site. These are rapidly filling up with guests. Solitary Bees need these spaces to hibernate over winter. A sure sign the little tubes are occupied is a blanket of carefully trimmed leaves over the entrance.
This method of home building is a speciality of the Leaf Cutter bee. These hotels are easy to make at home. Kids will love to help making these too. Cut a bamboo stake into equal lengths or drill holes into an old branch or log, enclose the bamboo and cut logs into a wooden frame or old crate. Remember to add a roof to stop water flooding the guests!
The five hives of Honeybees we host on behalf of Jacqui and Colin are looking pretty sleepy. A few workers are hanging around the hive entrance like delinquent teenagers. It looks like the bees are retreating into winter quarters. We won’t see much activity outside until spring.
It’s a time for planning where our Beegreen and sustainable projects will take us in 2020.
In September, we applied for the 2019 Waitrose Sustainability Awards. We’ve supplied Waitrose cafes with our gluten free cakes for many years now. Waitrose are encouraging all their suppliers to reduce their impact on the environment. Our packaging is changing to meet our sustainability goals. We have trialled plant based film to wrap our cakes but so far we haven’t found an option that can be safely frozen, so our search continues in earnest – can you help? Our online shop orders are posted in plastic free packaging. We have introduced smaller cake slices to reduce the amount of packaging we use. It’s an ever increasing effort to reduce our need for plastic. Sadly we didn’t win the Waitrose award but you can watch our video entry here.
All our Bee Green projects have both our local environment and people in mind.
The five acre nature reserve was created by the local community and the Honeybuns team. Since we began our Bee Green initiative in 2009 I have personally benefited from our Bee Green projects. I have learned willow weaving and hedge laying. I’m pretty awful at both but it was a treat to learn these skills. The nature reserve is dotted with table and benches.
It is a well loved space for our team and customers to enjoy. In 2020 we hope get our local Primary school involved with habitat education days and wildlife surveys across the site. The kids will be busy. Naish farm has bee friendly meadows, an orchard, hedgerows, a young woodland copse, and the mysterious ancient drove way. We have many habitats to explore. 2020 looks set to be a fun year.