Tag Archives: bournemouth

Bees are in trouble!

By Alex Blundell

With summer just around the corner, we’re all seeing the winding branches of winter ravished trees beginning to green. And with that, we expect to soon see open fields or grass patches start to fill up with sweet wild flowers. A perfect setting for a picnic, to relax and perhaps to share a cider with some friends… But what if you were to learn that the spring blossom and that signature southern drink may be in trouble due to an important pollinator?


There’s currently a bee decline in the UK, which is not good for a lot of our flowers and crops that rely on them.  According to Lesley Gasson the Education Officer at the Dorset Bee Association there are three main reasons as to why this is happening.

Varroa mites

These mites are external parasites that affect both the bee and the brood (the egg, larva and pupa stages of bee development). They feed on the blood of the bee and can shorten it’s life. If untreated Varroa will spread and can even kill entire hives.

The mites spread between colonies via solitary bees or drones. Once a bee has picked up a mite and returned to the hive a female mite will enter into a brood cell. It then seals itself in with the larva and will lay eggs which will continue to feed on the larva. By the time an adult bee has emerged there will be several mites waiting to parasitize other bees.

The key to stopping this bee killer is prevention. To help our bees, if you see these mites on a bee that is near or belongs to a hive, a local bee association or bee keeping group can direct you or treat it using a product called Apistan.


This may sound strange but crops and farming are becoming an issue. The amount of space needed to farm crops is quite a lot and this was space previously allocated to things like wild flowers. Which are important to a whole array of pollinators.

To help, Lesley Gasson suggests that those of you whom are green thumbed plant shrubs or small trees which are perfect for accommodating hives. Also mentioning

“Things like rosemary, thyme, lavender are all things bees that attract bees. They love it.”


There’s a particular pesticide called neonicotinoids that have proven to be especially damaging to bees. Crops are planted with it and so, the pesticide grows into every part of the plant. This means when bees come to collect the pollen they also get the neonicotinoids.

This pesticide attacks the bees central nervous system and their navigation. Lesley comments on the subtle destruction saying that

“You won’t find dead bees outside the hive, what you’ll find is that bees go out and never come home.” This is a sad but true reality to the hives which are affected.

In aid of our important pollinators, try to support growers who don’t use this type or any pesticides! You’ll be doing bees and your food a world of good!

Without Bees there would be no almonds, pumpkins or apples. Not to mention a huge chain reaction down the food chain.

A decrease in bees would means rising produce prices, more environmentally damaging imports and perhaps a stop to the countries famous cider production.

Dorset Cider coveyed that it was vital to not use neonicotinoids. The dangers were brought up in a recent South West of England Cider Association meeting – as “no bees mean no cider.”

Thatchers also spoke out about how they were planning on helping out the bees:

“To help create ideal conditions for foraging for the solitary and bumblebees, we are trialling the planting of wild flower seed in our orchards.

We’re planting twelve different wildflower species including birds foot trefoil, yarrow and knapweed rich in nectar and pollen.

By planting wild flowers we help the bees, and in return, they help us pollinate the blossom to create the apples for our ciders.”


Festival Season for Mind, Body and Motivation

By Alex Blundell

Exercise increases your serotonin levels, the happy chemical in your brain, and that can be helpful to feel more confident, healthier and happier. Remember that well-being is all about the mind, the body and being motivated.

All over the country festivals of all kinds are popping up. Each promoting different ways to improve your lifestyle and in turn, improve your well-being.

Taking care of your body

For beginners, who may not particularly like the thought of vigorous exercise, fitness festivals are a great way to get much needed inspiration.  Although the journey to a healthy body is far more complicated than the ‘Get Fit Fast’ Instagram bloggers will tell you.

“Staying fit is so important for your health, and everyone should have access to the information that they need to do it.”

FitLiving UK are setting up a festival in Bournemouth which is tailored both first timers and avid athletes. So if you want to get into to fitness but don’t know how on your own, this is an event for you. Over the 9th and 10th of September there will be over 50 different activities to get involved in, with motivation trainers and top nutritional tips.

Bournemouth Beach

Gemma Harris the managing director of line-up media and events in Bournemouth, said that one of the main goals for the event is to “De-mystify fitness” to all who attend.

Also saying “Staying fit is so important for your health, and everyone should have access to the information that they need to do it.” “We also aim to make the festival as fun and social as possible”

Taking care of your mind

There are organisations around the UK that are also focussed on open conversations about mental well-being.

“By looking after your mental well-being you can better handle things life throws at you”

The Freedom of Mind Festival in Bristol encourage taking care of yourself by taking time out of our busy days to do something to switch off and just be. They also provide coping-strategies for things like stress and negativity.

Katie Finch, the Managing Director for Freedom of Mind C.I.C. highlights that “Everyone has a mental health yet most people ignore it or don’t consider it until there is an issue. By looking after your mental well-being you can better handle things life throws at you and can gain good habits, such as sleeping properly and taking time out to relax, so that if you do become mentally unwell you are in a better position to tackle issues.”

She recognises that things like mediation are great for some people, but knows that it’s not for everyone. You need to find something that works for you, it’s all too easy to fall into patterns of stress and become negative and insecure.

Your Motivation

Motivation for progress in any aspect of life; fitness, work, relationships etc. It all comes from inspiration, from a need to improve ourselves, to connect to others – to ourselves.

The Yoga Connects festival embodies that.

Sally Griffyn, Director Founder Yoga Connects Festival Ltd, described the event as a “3 day ritual where people experience yoga, music and Shamanic ceremonies that shift their perception, cause transformation and by making different choices in life, get a lot happier.”

Now, spiritual experiences may not be for everyone. However improving headspace in any way is a step forward. You will never know what works until you try.

All-round wellbeing in companies many things. Maybe with your nine to five job you may only be able to go to the gym twice a week to take care of your well-being. Maybe you hate the idea of the gym and meditate for an hour a day. Or perhaps you just binge watch Netflix on the weekends to de-stress. Any way you do it, remember that as long you’re happy and heathy… You’re doing something right. If not, take a tip from here.

Good Luck!

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