Bee Palace

Handmade in Stoke – a chat with beepalace’s potter, Brian

March 14th, 2017

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Our beepalaces are handmade in Stoke, once at the heart of the industrial revolution and pottery production. According to Stoke’s newspaper, The Sentinel, the number of people now working in the pottery industry in the UK is around 8,000 – down from 50,000 people working in Stoke-on-Trent’s pottery factories in the 1970s. Whilst we’re unlikely to ever see those kind of numbers again, Stoke has recently retooled its kilns (Emma Bridgewater’s factory is also in the area) and we’re proud to be a part of the next chapter of the potteries’ story. Read the rest of this entry »

 

 

Winter gardens to visit over the Christmas week

December 22nd, 2016

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As we get ever closer to the Christmas holiday, we just wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2017. It’s been our pleasure meeting you all at craft shows, garden fairs and through messages via our website – thank you!

If you’re hankering for some winter colour between Christmas and New Year, here are some of the gardens on our to-visit (or ‘have visited’) lists – each offering something to brighten up the winter days, whether it’s by spectacular light shows, clever planting, or simply nature at it’s finest. It can’t hurt that these all also give you an excuse to walk off those extra mince pies as well! Read the rest of this entry »

 

 

Christmas gift ideas for the colourful garden

December 1st, 2016

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Yes, we know the advent calendars have only just gone up, but as we’re into December proper we feel we can now utter the word ‘Christmas’…

Here’s a round up of some of our favourite ideas for Christmas gifts, all of which are likely to add a little contemporary and colourful style into your garden. Read the rest of this entry »

 

 

Colourful Winter Containers

November 17th, 2016

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One of the most common questions asked of gardeners, garden designers and plantsmen and women is how to brighten up the garden in winter. Sure, it’s certainly not as easy as it is during the summer, but if you’re really savvy it’s entirely possible to create a single container that not only creates colourful interest through the darkest months, but is extremely pollinator-friendly as well. Read the rest of this entry »

 

 

The Asian Hornet & Our Native Pollinators

November 3rd, 2016

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Pollinators are vital to our ecosystems, so it’s worrying that after years of concern, the first Asian hornet sighting was confirmed in the UK in September. Unlike our native hornet, its Asian counterpart has the rather dubious distinction of preying on honey bee colonies and thereby poses a very real threat to colony numbers – as well as other native species. Read the rest of this entry »

 

 

“The flash of a red mason bee lights up a grey spring”.

June 20th, 2016

Jonathan Tulloch writing in The Times (30/06/2016) lavished praise on the red mason bee when he chose it as the one animal he would nominate for a berth on the ark! Given the weather we have had recently, this may not be far from the truth!

Read the rest of this entry »

 

 

“The bees’ needs”

April 7th, 2016

We are very pleased to have embarked on some co-branding with Seedball which is part of Project Maya (their aim is to provide meadowland in urban spaces throughout the world! Inspiring!).

Read the rest of this entry »

 

 

Brian, our very popular Potter from Stoke…

February 22nd, 2016

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We published this picture of Brian, our Potter, at his workshop in Stoke on Trent on our Facebook page and got a lot of “likes”. Everyone likes a happy face! He’s a fantastic potter running a family business with a real passion for producing good pottery. Read the rest of this entry »

 

 

Happy Christmas!

December 22nd, 2015

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beepalace in ivy Christmas gift webIt’s been a strange year from the bees perspective! There they are working their socks off and producing a load of goodies for us humans and they read in the Bee Times that we have lifted restrictions on pesticides that have been linked to their “genocide”. Thanks a bunch! Then evidence emerges that even organic pesticides can be harmful to them! Good grief! What kind of world is this they wonder where insects that do so much good are treated with such distain! Then they look at the other Times and think goodness, it isn’t just us, they try and destroy each other too! I’m making light of some serious problems, but oft a true word said in jest!

Luckily the forces for hope and optimism are incredibly strong so we continue to do what we can to ensure humanity and common sense prevail.

This is the time of year when many, many people show their generous and caring side and we often enter the new year with a renewed desire to make changes to body size, fitness, general consumption and to the world. And what a glorious, fantastic world it is despite the challenges!

A lot of people will receive beepalaces for Christmas and maybe some of them possibly will read this!

If you have received a beepalace for Christmas then someone special thinks you are too and thinks or knows that you will appreciate one of the most amazing wonders of nature that can be found on your doorstep, as well as knowing you appreciate design and style!

Your beepalace will allow you to get very close to the fascinating world of the solitary bee – a bee that can be 80 times more productive than a honey bee, plus it doesn’t sting or swarm – a benign, hard working creature that we need to sustain our world.

We hope you enjoy your gift and that if you are unfamiliar with this aspect of the natural world you will be stimulated to find out more about it and to encourage the education of others. We hope also that you will use it as it is also intended, as an eye catching piece of garden architecture.

We will close for Christmas until mid January and would like to wish everyone a very  Merry Christmas and a Happy and Peaceful New Year!beepalace in ivy Christmas gift webbeepalace in ivy Christmas gift web

 

 

 

 

“Creativity + iterative development = innovation” – J Dyson

September 16th, 2015

Summer is still with us but the presence of Autumn is all around. The changing of the colours begins to mute the delightful backdrop of the South Downs. Mists but no mellow fruitfulness just yet. How lucky indeed to be able to enjoy this transition.

In a previous life I ran a commercial service based business, or should I say, I ran and ran and ran. I ran quite often just to stay in the same place. Nothing in commerce  stays at the same level. It either improves through action or deteriorates through lack of it. The “iterative” process of development is vital to success. So we are looking at ways of improving the beepalace. New ideas on how the nesting tubes are fixed and new ideas on materials, as well as new products. This should translate into modifications to the beepalace and innovations that will be of interest to current owners and future ones.

 

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Above: technical work on the nesting tubes and a sample beepalace in terracotta.

At a recent event where we were displaying the beepalace I was asked by a very knowledgeable wild life expert how the show was going. Not bad, I said, I’m talking to a lot of people but we haven’t sold that many beepalaces. Think of all the good you are doing, he replied. Oh yes, I said, we’ll have a great mailing list by the end of the day. No, not that he said, think of all the people you are educating about how important solitary bees are as pollinators. Talk about solitary! Sometimes the commercial and higher minded edges can blur. A salutary lesson!

In this blog, it isn’t appropriate to dwell, pontificate, make judgements on the plight of the thousands of refugees fleeing their homes and countries. Whilst I count myself very fortunate not to be one of them I hope I will do enough to make some difference to some of them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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