The Great Honey Drought

Winter viruses and the wettest August for years have combined to leave Britain’s beehives dry. Read on…

This is disturbing news. I don’t think the average person realises the importance of the process of insect pollination in providing most of our food (Grasses, like wheat and rice, are wind-pollinated).

I was interested to see the reference to borage in the article. I knew that it was highly favoured by bees, but apparently it is planted as a crop for the pharmaceutical industry and the bees benefit from this fact. Now, farmers are planting wheat to profit from high prices and borage planting has dropped by 75%.

I planted borage a couple of years ago and ever since then it has self-seeded readily in all sorts of places, even despite the fact that the parrots discovered it last year and began to help themselves liberally to the maturing seeds. 

Although it’s early spring, I’ve noticed lots of bees already on the borage, so this year I’m going to collect as much seed as I can and broadcast it everywhere. It germinates with the autumn/winter rains. The deep blue flowers can be used with striking effect in a tossed salad.

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