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Archive for the ‘Bees’ Category

IMG_0390Flip to the Bee Side – Paul tells his tale about his bees

As I walked past my five hives of bees this evening, not paying much attention, I heard a deep buzzing noise coming from one of them. I bent my ear close to the hive entrance(there being no flying on this damp dusk) and the buzzing increased as if they were being disturbed. I glanced up and realised that I had failed to observe a medium sized swarm of about 5000 bees, clustered on the outside of the hive 6 inches from my face. Yikes! I thought, along with some other less Enid Blyton like curses!!

Have a Go Beeman.

My challenge, I decided, was to find a way of collecting, hiving and feeding the swarm, within the twenty minutes of daylight left to me. I had to think quick, and this is what I did.

Cakus Interuptus

Firstly, interrupt Pauline making Rhubarb cake in the kitchen to boil the kettle and make some sugar syrup. Then search for a suitable way of scanning the  bees off the flat wooden exterior of the hive. My eyes alighted on a box of 12 Schweppes tonic waters. The empty cardboard box, with it’s end cut off made a perfect scoop for bee collection. So I hoped.

Job Done!

I trotted off to the bees in the field, got my kit on, and slowly slid the tonic box, whilst holding it tight, flat against the hive, until all the bees slipped into the box. Amazingly, I collected all but three bees in a matter of seconds. Two minutes later they were in the new hive with a feeder full of syrup and a reduced entrance to discourage other bees from robbing.

Moral of the Tale 

a swarm in the hive is worth two in the bush !

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Go wild in the Country….feel  absolutely free

Join us on Sunday 26th June , 1pm until 5pm ,with Sussex Wildlife Trust and Anne Kelly ,renowned author of Textile Nature, a new book celebrating wildlife and giving invaluable guidance on how nature can be inspirational in  textile art .

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Being Wild in Your Garden

How to attract wildlife into your garden is among the advice on offer at this open day.

Gardening expert Peter Crawford ,from the Sussex Wildlife Trust , will offer tips on attracting butterflies, hedgehogs and toads into gardens and green spaces.

AnnekellyflowerimageYour gardening questions can be answered by Peter and learn how children can be encouraged to go wild and sow seeds in paper pots to take home.

IMG_7560Anne Kelly, Textile Artist

Anne Kelly featured as our artist in residence in 2014 and was really inspired by her time in our garden. On Sunday  Anne will be joined by many of her fellow artists and contributors to the book and we will see the unveiling of The Stitched Shed . The shed will be travelling as part of a major exhibition being taken by Anne to The prestigious  Knit and Stitch Show in London, Harrogate and Dublin. Anne will be available to sign copies of her new book , and lucky winners in the Sussex Wildlife Raffle will be able to win an original artwork from Anne and others.

voucher30dayswildHalf Price Voucher

follow the link to this voucher to get half price entry to Sussex Prairies on Sunday 26th June   https://sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk/admin/resources/swtprairegardenvoucher.jpg

 

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ohbeehivecardOh Beehive !

Feel the buzz and make a bee line for Sussex Prairies from 1st June  when we shall be celebrating our love of bees ! Pollenicious baby !

DSC04666Our whimsical celebrity, Austin Flowers ,will be creating a buzz in the largest beehive in Sussex. Find him bee- hind you in his foppish attire and count his collection of pin badges and  jewellery as part of the bee quiz .Will you be bold enough to feel the bees in his bee box ?

BisforbeeYou can also follow the bee trail of bee factoids around the garden.. you will be able to answer such questions as -what does a Queen do ? how fast  can a bee fly  ? how do bees communicate ?how long have bees been here  ?  how is honey made ?

and finally make it to the teashop and the  Queen Honey Cake Tower   ! and sample some of our cakes made with honey , herbs and flowers.Bee – licious !

alisoncatchlovebeeWe shall be joined by local beekeepers and a local blacksmith and green woodworker making bee related items on Friday 5th , Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th June 2015. The sculptor Alison Catchlove will be exhibiting her bee sculptures in the garden..

Dates for the Chelsea Fringe Oh Beehive

Monday 1st June             1pm -5pm

Closed Tuesday 2nd June

Wednesday 3rd June     1pm -5pm

Thursday 4th June         1pm – 5pm

Friday 5th June               1pm – 5pm

Saturday 6th June         1pm – 5pm

Sunday 7th June             1pm – 5pm

Venue : Sussex Prairie Garden , Morlands Farm, Wheatsheaf Road (B2116 ), Near Henfield, West Sussex , BN5 9AT.

Tel 01273 495902 email morlandsfarm@btinternet.com website http://www.sussexprairies.co.uk

Follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sussex-Prairies and Twitter @sussexprairies and on Pinterest- look out for the board celebrating Oh Beehive !

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We are delighted that this year we have a textile artist in residence bringing a world of wonderful textile beauty to our garden room exhibition space.

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Anne Kelly – about me

“I collect recycled fabric, paper and ephemera using collage, stitch, photographic and print processes to create a range of work, most of which is framed. My inspirations are travel, memory and vintage imagery from a variety of sources. These have been described as ‘small worlds’ and my current layered mixed media work started life as mainly botanical in subject matter before developing into larger more narrative works. I assemble and reassemble the components of each piece using sketchbooks and digital imagery. Often it can be a small scrap or remnant of fabric that inspires a whole piece.  I am inspired by natural history and gardens. Collaborations are an important aspect of my work and I enjoy working with other artists and teaching. I also produce commissions for private and public individuals  – examples of these ‘collages in cloth’, based on special places, people and spaces can be found on my website. I have co written a book for Batsford/Anova press  which was published in 2013 called ‘Connected Cloth’

A Natural History of the Garden At Sussex Prairies-

Anne has brought an amazing textile exhibition of her latest garden related work and is working on a wonderful collaborative wall piece called A Natural History of the Garden which is helping to raise funds for the RSPB Southeast. Anne will be coming to the garden regularly during the summer to work on the project and to lead drop in sessions of creative stitching on a garden theme with a range of glorious textiles.

Make

Why not come and try your hand at making a small piece for our wall..we have all the materials you need and even a whole load of inspiration from books and printed materials as well as the big garden of course.

Take Anne’s easy step by step guide to creating your own piece. What better way to spend an afternoon sewing and chatting with friends over a piece of  homemade cake and a cup of tea.

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and if you would like to learn from Anne why not come and join us for one of Anne’s workshops  here on the Prairies-

 A series of Workshops by Anne Inspired by the garden –

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‘Illustrating Garden Poetry’ saturday 28th June 2014

–Looking at the work of some contemporary poets, we will discuss ways to combine stitch and words in a special piece which you will start on the day and finish afterwards. You will create a unique record of your garden, one that you’ve visited or a special plant/flower that you like. Full day workshop.

 

‘Prairie Paper and Stitch’ saturday 26th July 2014

– combining paper and cloth extends your options when working in textiles. In this one-day course, tutor Anne Kelly will demonstrate some basic bonding techniques and help you to make a small folding book form celebrating a favourite green space.

Full day workshop .

 

‘Planting in Cloth’ –Saturday 6th September 2014

Surrounded by the lovely setting of the Prairie Gardens, we will use them as the basis to record plant and flower drawings and paintings on cloth. These will then be stitched using a variety of techniques and can be finished as solo pieces or incorporated into a larger piece. Full day workshop .

 

 

‘Little House on the Prairie’ – Sunday 28th September 2014

A joint parent and child course – using a variety of simple stitch and bonding techniques, create a unique record of your house and garden with a member of your family. You will make the basis of this piece during the one-day workshop and can continue to embellish and add to it at home. Full day workshop .

read more abut Anne on her website http://www.annekellytextiles.com

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News from the Sussex University hive down on the Prairies !

keeping a watchful eye on our Hive here is Beth sampling some nectar from one of the frames in the hive. Sampling nectar

and looking at closer detail at the pollen below

Sampling pollen

and sticking the hive all back together again so they can continue their summer work

weighing colony

We also now have a  bumble bee colony here which Beth is also going to monitor. Here it is being weighed …

weighing BB colony

and putting it in place

Bumblebee colony (1)

Good luck boys and girls hope you have  a good summer with us !

 

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 Anne Kelly – Artist in Residence & The RSPB

Anne Kelly, our textile artist in residence for our 2014 season, is making a large collaborative wall exhibit in support in The RSPB  with us at Sussex  Prairies ,and we want you to join in the fun of creation.

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How you can be a part of it !

Please send us drawings, cutouts, collages, pictures of plants,animals, birds, insects, reptiles, fish, amphibiansour natural wildlife – small sized- no bigger than A5 size, which can become part of the work. Maybe you have a poem, piece of writing or phrase which you feel would fit in with our theme and which you would like to see incorporated. All your work will be credited with your name. We are happy to accept pictures, images by email or you can message/send items through Face book or Twitter. You are also welcome to send original pieces if you wish which we will copy and return back to you. Visitors to the garden will also be invited to contribute to the piece by making textile craftwork. Let’s make it really wild!

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Please send contributions to either Sussex Prairies at morlandsfarm@btinternet.com or mail@annekellytextiles.com  or you can also send pieces to us in the post .Please check our websites www.sussexprairies.co.uk  or www.annekellytextiles.com  for all our contact details.

Sussex Prairies will be open  for its 2014 season from 31st May until 12th October 2014, 1pm until 5pm ,six days a week , closed Tuesdays.If you would like to bring your contribution with you in person , you are very welcome.

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Insect Zigurrat takes a bow !

Ron and Libby our lovely ,loyal and stalwart Sussex Prairie volunteers have made us the incredible wheeled insect ziggurat which has now been  wheeled into  place and  populated with insect friendly home fodder  this week. Not only will it be a living home to many insects but should prove to be a talking point at the entrance to the Sven garden (mini prairie).

What is a Ziggurat   ? A massive structure having the form of a terraced step pyramid of successively receding storeys or levels.

Why is it in our garden ? why not .. it deserves a place in our hearts ! and it will be a multi storey home to a world of insects from bees, to lacewings , to miner bees .. and anyone else who fancies a deluxe condominium. It also provides a bit of a diversion for the eye from  the more than plastic unfantastic  digesting septic tank. I only hope the residents are soothed by the bubbling , burbling mechanisms machinating below .They can think of it as musical interlude.

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Wildlife Friendly ! why ? because invertebrates can shelter there and lay their eggs and it can be a feeding place for insects, reptile s and small mammals (if they can clamber up there !)

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Climate friendly ! why ? because it can provide cools , shady places  and extra nesting materials when natural alternatives may not be readily available .

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How did they do it ? (Ron and Libby I mean !) .. well , they collected all manner of materials which could be used to create dark, deep ,mysterious nooks and crannies in the gaps between the artfully stacked pallet structure. Old pine cones, stalks, sticks, wood , old terracotta pots, bundles of twigs , grass seed heads.

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What ? ….Dead wood : good for wood boring beetles  eg. stag beetle and larvae, can also support fungi. Centipedes and woodlice can burrow under the bark.

Hollow stems : ideal spots for solitary bees to lay their eggs

Stone and tiles : provide cool conditions for frogs and newts

Dry grass : give a place for insects to burrow into

Dry leaves : ladybirds might hibernate in here during winter and they are great for eating aphids in the garden.

Rotting wood and bark : is where beetles , centipedes ,spiders and woodlice love to be

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And did you know….. there is actually a living library in the Zigurrat for creatures to enjoy and enrich their brain power and a great many hearts and a lot of love  hanging on it !(literally)

Thank you Ron and Libby for indulging our ever more crazy ideas and schemes !! Next idea : the wildlife matrix ….. coming soon ! Why not come and see the Zigurrat for yourself. It is open for business for wildlife 24 hours a day and open for human kind during our opening hours, daily, 1pm until 5pm from 1st June until 13th October 2013.

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