Spring is a great time to sow seeds at the Secret Campsite. The month of April, like August still has some moisture in the ground, but the temperature is starting to rise. This is great for new life. The warmth and water in the soil, helps the seeds to germiate quickly and get established.
Although the campsite is starting to get busy with campers, we make a real point of preparing differemt parts of the campsite where we can establish a crop of specific plants that will go on to encourage a number of interesting species.
Getting bees into the camping areas
So how do we get the bees here?
To do this we need to plant a good mixture of pollination species.
Don’t worry we’re not talking about large swarms of bees. This is about filling the spaces between the camping pitches with productive and interesting plants. The aim is to encourage different types of bees and the British Isles has over 250 different species. Strangely 90% of these bees are solitary, with each nest the work of just one bee.
White and buff tailed bumblebees, honeybees, Red mason and mining bees all forage for pollen and nectar amongst specific plants. The buff tailed bumblebees at the secret campsite are luckier still as we have a number of Mahnia plants around the site which are a great source of winter food for them.
One plant that the bees seem to love is Phacelia (Phacelia tanacetifolia) It is used as a green manure and suppresses weeds species, but that isnt the reason we grow it at the secret campsite. We like it because its pretty easy to grow. We fill a few areas with Phacelia because its purple flowers are really attractive to a wide range of insects, in particular the bees.
Waggle dancing bees
If you really like bees and have a humorous streak you should have a look at this clip. Its how the bees communicate and helps keep the colony fed. By encouragung more bees into the campsite you may get to see the wagge dance. But mind you dont get stung
We will also be accompanying the Phacelia with a wild songbird mix. We’ll grow this in alternate strips with the phacelia. This should keep our campsite bees on their toes and help encourage a good mixture of birds in to pep up the dawn chorus.