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Insects by Guest Blogger Simon Sherlock

By Simons 10 years ago

Insects – nothing beats sitting in the garden surrounded by flowers with the birds singing and the sound of the bees hard at work.  To encourage the bees to stick around why not buy yourself a bee nester.  It's probably too late for them to use this year but next year will provide them a free home, meaning you build up a colony of these useful insects ready for Spring and Summer.
Other beneficial insects such as Ladybirds and Lacewings are good for controlling aphids so a bug box will give them somewhere to over winter meaning they are hand in your garden from the word go next year.  The reason to do it now is so that the box is weathered in ready for when the temperature drops and they start looking for somewhere to hibernate.
Here's our  bee nesters and bug boxes to choose from.

Not so nasty nettles

By Heather 11 years ago

Most people consider nettles to be a complete nuisance and remember them for one thing and one thing only – their vicious sting!

However nettles (or stinging nettles) have many hidden qualities. Did you know?

  • They are one of the most mineral and vitamin rich weeds and, when cooked, lose their sting.

  • The undersides of nettle leaves are a favoured spot for ladybirds to lay their eggs in spring. Ladybird larvae, as per the picture below, are voracious feeders and like nothing better than eating aphids. Adult ladybirds overwinter somewhere sheltered (sometimes inside buildings) and providing a bug box will help them survive the worst of the weather.

  • The fibres from the woody stems can be used to make cloth, paper and rope.

  • You can extract dyes from nettles and they were used, as late as the Second World War, to make camouflage materials.
Links to interesting nettle articles: National Be Nice to Nettles Week (14-25 May), Risotto of Nettles and Wild Herbs, 101 Uses for Stinging Nettles

Wiggly on Radio One!

By Heather 12 years ago

Well, - as you will no doubt realise Wiggly Wigglers does get a bit of media coverage - this month we have been in The Telegraph, The Times and there is the most beautiful article on our http://www.wigglywigglers.co.uk/shop/foundcategory.lasso?category_id=15 in Country Living which came out this week.

However Radio One has been surprisingly elusive - until that is our mention on the Jo Whiley show on Friday. She had a listener who had used ladybirds on her aphids and then Hannah from Hereford emailed her to say if other listeners want ladybirds - Wiggly Wigglers is where you need to go! Thanks Hannah. I checked it out on Listen Again after a friend told me all about it in the village last night. She's about the same age as me and is still a keen Radio One fan - I moved to Radio Two and Radio Four about fifteen years ago!