Cherwell council take environmental responsibility seriously and their recycling department hold an annual compost giveaway day. This year they wished the event to help the bee population, were giving away free wildflower seeds, and asked for some beekeepers to be present to answer questions.
As people streamed past for their free compost, some were intrigued by the props on the table or Fiona’s fetching black & yellow outfit. Kids enjoyed popping a face veil on, everyone was interested in wax comb, and we were surprised how popular the smell from a canister of propolis was (the smell of a beehive). While we concentrated on specifics about bees, the FoE representatives were explaining how many crops depended on pollinators and what threatened them.
There were plenty of questions like
- What kind of [bumble/solitary] bee is it I keep seeing in my garden?
- What should I plant in my garden?
- Are bumblebee nests a problem?
- What is involved in becoming a beekeeper?
- What about this Asian Hornet?
Many thanks to Judith, Anna and Helen of OBKA, and Fiona and Tim of FoE for giving their time so generously; and Andrew Jenkins of Cherwell District Council for giving us the opportunity to educate the public.