A complete failure for me

Having been intrigued by Surrey beekeepers idea about getting children interested in bees, the past weekend of sunshine seemed a good opportunity to put this into practice.

I did change it a little.  I cut circles of paper into rough flower shapes and laminated them.  I had thought I’d cut each out before laminating – but realised the experiment ought to work if I kept them in a sheet.  I could then put sugar syrup or fondant on the flowers without worrying they’d spoil the flowers and hence there was the potential to reuse the sheets.

Paper flowers to see what attracts the bees

Paper flowers to see what attracts the bees

My next idea seemed a touch of genius – by taking a photo of the sheets I could print it so it could be used as a tally sheet to count the many bees I anticipated visiting the ‘flowers’.  This was possibly my first mistake as I didn’t realise that when I added the sugar bits I had turned the sheets over.

Paper flowers, with icing in stamen like patterns

Paper flowers, with icing in stamen like patterns

Still, I spent 3 hours doing the crossword and watching the sheet – to no avail. I refined what was on the sheets – adding fondant and spraying with syrup. Still no visiting bees. In desperation I took the sheets to Hughenden Manor when we did an inspection at the apiary and put them really close to the hives. No reaction from the bees. Perhaps my mistake is that the weather is good and there are far better sources for them. I think our young visitors would find this experiment very boring unless I can detect the flaw in my adaptations.

The paper flowers were even ignored when placed close to the hives

The paper flowers were even ignored when placed close to the hives

April 1st update – no, not a hoax.
Had a surprise visit from a friend today which lured me to think sitting in the sun would we nice. Imagine my surprise to see – at least – bees interested in the experiment. I had done nothing new to it, assuming it to be an out and out failure. First we saw one honey bee. 30 minutes later a few more. I somehow assumed there might have been a little waggle dance between times.


About apiarylandlord

Definitely past it - whatever it was - I may have blinked and missed it. New to beekeeping and totally entranced by the experience. That is probably all you need to know until I work out how secure this blog is. Great fan of recycling - see ilovefreegle.org to find your local group. Save things from landfill. Pass on your surplus, locally, for free or ask for things you need in case you can have someone's cast off again for free.
This entry was posted in Background, Bee curious, Bee life, Forage, Forage plants, Natural world, The Team and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A complete failure for me

  1. At Sheila’s suggestion I am going to spray this with lemon oil and see whether this makes a difference! She has also suggested darker colours but I am not sure how easily I’ll be able to achieve that!

  2. Emily Heath says:

    What a shame! The lemon oil sounds like a good idea, think this smells similar to Nasonov gland pheromone. Wonder if sticking on some real petals would help to make their texture look more familiar and flower-like.

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