Monday, 2 April 2012

Wild Bee Courses

I have now received a schedule of training courses Marc Carlton will be running this year over the water in the Chepstow/Monmouth areas.
Marc Carlton
(image © Marc)

Marc runs the excellent The Pollinator Garden website and has supported YABeeP in the past. Last year I attended his Bumblebees for Beginners course at the Gwent Wildlife Trust's Pentwyn Farm (see below) and had a really great day out; I thoroughly recommend it.

Gwent Wildlife Trust courses
To book these phone Gwent Wildlife Trust 01600 740600 or go to for more information.

Bumblebees for Beginners
Saturday 9 June, 10.30 to 3, at Pentwyn Farm, Penallt, between Chepstow and Monmouth off the B4293. Entrance near the War Memorial,  park in Trust’s car park adjacent to the Bush Inn (Grid ref SO 523 094). Cost £16 , must book in advance through Gwent Wildlife Trust 01600 740600 .  Consists of a presentation about bumblebee lifestyles and how to identify the seven common species that we see in gardens. Then course members spend time in the wildflower meadows of the adjacent reserve having a go at identifying bumblebees themselves. This covers the subject from scratch and does not assume any previous knowledge. As it is a course for beginners Marc does not cover the rarer species in any detail.

Gardening for Wild Bees
Saturday 28th July. 10.30 to 1 at Seddon Court, near Dingestow, NP25 4ZX between Monmouth and Raglan. Cost £7. Must book in advance through Gwent Wildlife Trust 01600 740600. Seddon Court, where the wildlife trust has its HQ, has a beautiful large walled garden full of interesting perennial flowers. After giving an illustrated talk about wild bees and flowers I use this garden for a ‘min-field trip’ and take the course members round the garden to look at the flowers and their interactions with bumblebees and solitary bees. What you see insect-wise depends on the weather, but even if it is cold and wet you can still discuss the flowers.  This course is the fun one – it is not very technical and is aimed at gardeners. As it finishes at 1pm people could combine it with an afternoon visit to Monmouth, the Wye Valley or Usk, all of which are close by.

Flora Locale course

 a new more detailed course about insects and flowers on behalf of the charity Flora Locale Note that their normal £100 fee does not apply to this course:

Gardening for Bugs, Bumblebees and Butterflies
Thursday 14th June, in Chepstow. 0945-1600 (approx).  Cost £40 (or £25 for Buglife and Butterfly Conservation members) payable in advance to Flora Locale. You must book this course in advance; places are limited. This event will look at the needs of pollinating insects, and ways in which gardens can be planted to attract a wide range of pollinators. We will be discussing the role of non-native garden flowers, and ways of using wild flowers in a garden setting. We sill discuss how different classes of insects (e.g. bumblebees, solitary bees, butterflies, moths, hoverflies, beetles) use flowers as a food source, and also how different flowers are adapted to serve different insect pollinators. Includes a visit to Marc Carlton's garden, which is smallish back garden in the centre of Chepstow.

If you have any queries about these courses please contact Marc direct.

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