It’s been so cold. But people have been planting on the zigzag: fruit trees and natives. This is my contribution, a Royal Rosa apricot from Waimea Nurseries. I planted it at the edge of one of our hugelkulturs, also known as swales, mounds of rotting wood.
The Royal Rosa is ‘a very early, freestone selection with firm tasty gold flesh, yellow skin with a red blush. A disease hardy, low chill selection recommended for home gardens throughout New Zealand.’ And its fruit will look like this.
And of course the Royal Rosa will flower, for the bees. I chose an early ripening one to suit the arc of the hillside’s summer sun.
A little further up the hill are some feijoas and three plums, from the Wellington City Council’s Community Fruit Tree programme, planted by our lovely neighbour. Here are two of the plums.
And yesterday the sun shone and I saw a bumble bee on a calendula. So I worried about the next burst of the council’s Roundup spraying, because Roundup harms bees, as reported here.
I also read another new report, about how Roundup harms people (see Bibliography page for more research about this)–
Many neurological diseases, including autism, depression, dementia, anxiety disorder and Parkinson’s disease, are associated with abnormal sleep patterns, which are directly linked to pineal gland dysfunction. The pineal gland is highly susceptible to environmental toxicants. Two pervasive substances in modern industrialized nations are aluminum and glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide, Roundup®. In this paper, we show how these two toxicants work synergistically to induce neurological damage.
But then I read, in the council’s response to submissions to its latest Suburban Reserves Management Plan that–
We have just finalised beekeeping guidelines for public land and consider ourselves a bee friendly city.
As fruit trees, vegetable and bee-loved plants proliferate, especially on public reserves like our zigzag, if the council is committed to being a bee-friendly city, it will have to stop using Roundup and other poisons. Whew and Yay.
In the meantime, in an exciting initiative that supports pollinators, at Bee Gap, a New Zealand-based programme to raise awareness and assist gardeners to encourage and add pollinators to their gardens. They’re keen to encourage native bees, bumble bees and leaf cutter bees and have some products for us to use at home.
And on their Facebook page, the first contemporary image I’ve seen of bees in trees in New Zealand–
The woman who posted it said it’s near New Plymouth–
This natural beehive in a 60ft tree is massive. I had driven past this so many times and didn’t even know it was there. A work mate pointed it out to me. I’m 5′ and could probably fit inside it.
And note, these bees are utterly thriving. It can be done. And this year I hope to have some bees in a tree myself. As well as many flowers for them.