Bad News! Bees Disaster!
The first inspection of 2017 has revealed that our bee colony has been devastated – they had all, sadly, died over the winter. The reason why the whole colony should die at once is unclear, but it is known as a ‘colony collapse disorder’ or CCD.
Scientists reckon CCD might be caused by a combination of factors interacting with one another, including exposure to agricultural pesticides and attacks by bee parasites such as varroa mites. We don’t know whether our bees have been exposed to pesticides, but they were checked for varroa before winter and got a clean bill of health. Our local bee expert, Andrea Ku, thinks it might be down to the weather, as we didn’t have a particularly cold season and they may have woken up too early.
However, some research suggests the suddenness of a colony’s collapse could to be related to a change in foraging behaviour whereby younger worker bees leave the hive in search of food rather than gaining more experience in the safety of the nest. Clint Perry, a researcher at Queen Mary University, London, said: “Young bees leaving the hive early is likely to be an adaptive behaviour to a reduction in the number of older foraging bees. But if the increased death rate continues for too long or the hive isn’t big enough to withstand it in the short term, this natural response could upset the societal balance of the colony and have catastrophic consequences.”
“Precocious foragers completed far fewer foraging trips in their life, and had a higher risk of death in their first flights. This resulted in a breakdown in division of labour and loss of the adult population, leaving only brood, food and a few adults in the hive,” said researchers. A mathematical model found that as more workers started foraging at an earlier age, the effect had a positive feedback, with the change in behaviour causing more and more young workers to leave the hive, the researchers said.
Colony collapse disorder has caused a 30 per cent average annual loss of honeybees in North America alone over the last decade. A key feature of the disorder is the complete disappearance of worker bees, leaving the hive largely empty of adult bees. “Our results suggest that tracking when bees begin to forage may be a good indicate of the overall health of a hive. Our work sheds light on the reasons behind colony collapse and could help in the search for ways of preventing colony collapse,” Dr Perry said.
But all is not lost. Our hive will be thoroughly cleaned and a new colony will be in residence within the month. We go again!
Bosco Bags £2,000 From Carrier Bag Charge Fund
Bosco’s volunteer gardeners are delighted to announce that they have bagged £2,000 from a Tesco funding scheme.
Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch its ‘Bags of Help’ funding initiative, which sees grants of up to £5,000, £2,000 and £1,000 – all raised from the 5p bag levy – being awarded to local outdoor community projects every month.
Millions of shoppers voted in stores up and down the country. And it can now be revealed Bosco Market Garden CIC has been awarded £2,000!
Work will now begin on bringing the project to life. Bosco garden volunteer, Linda Van Nooijen said: “We’re so grateful to Tesco, Groundwork – and the shoppers of Sefton and Liverpool! The grant will help pay for a poly-tunnel where we can grow all kinds, like tomatoes, melons, chillies, you name it! We can also now afford to do some vital repairs, buy new tools, and get the garden ready for the coming year.”
Lindsey Crompton, Tesco’s Head of Community, said: “Bags of Help has been a fantastic success. We have been overwhelmed by the response of our customers and it’s been great to give people a say on how the money will be spent in their community. We can’t wait to see the projects come to life.”
Voting ran in stores from 1st December to 31st December with customers choosing which local project they would like to get the top award using a token given to them at the check-out in store.
Since launching in 2015, Bags of Help has awarded more than £25 million across more than 3,000 local projects.
Tesco customers will get the chance to vote for three different groups each month. At the end of each month, when votes are collected, three groups in each of Tesco’s regions will be awarded funding.
Groundwork’s national chief executive, Graham Duxbury, said: “It’s just the beginning for Bags of Help and we’re really excited about the future. The scheme will be permanently open for applications, and as grants can now be used for not just the development of, but also for the use of local outdoor spaces, we expect even more groups will now have the chance to benefit.
“It’s projects like these that really help to capture the public’s imagination by illustrating what can be achieved when communities are given the support and the encouragement they need to create better places where they live.”
Funding is available to groups who are seeking to use and develop outdoor spaces in ways that will benefit their local community. Anyone can nominate a local project and local organisations can apply. To find out more visit www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp
Bosco's Tesco Bid Goes To The Public Vote
Bosco House has been chosen as one of three projects to go forward this month to the public vote in the Tesco/Groundwork ‘Bags of Help’ fund.
The fund was set up by Tesco earlier this year following the 5p charge that was imposed on plastic shopping bags. But instead of just pocketing the cash, Tesco decided to put all those 5p’s to good use and help out local community groups. Bosco submitted an application last month for garden equipment and have been chosen, alongside two other local projects, to enter the customer vote.
Tesco has teamed up with Groundwork to launch its Bags of Help initiative across England and Wales. The scheme sees three community groups and projects in each of around 200 Tesco regions awarded grants of £5,000, £2,000 and £1,000 – all raised from the 5p bag charge. Bags of Help offers community groups and projects across the UK a share of revenue generated from the 5p charge levied on single-use carrier bags. Tesco customers will now vote in store from the 1st to the 31st of December on who should receive the £5,000, £2,000 and £1,000 awards.
To vote, you will need to make a purchase within store of any value. You will receive one token per transaction (but with a bit of charm and persuasion at the checkout you can get more!) and it's not necessary to purchase a carrier bag in order to receive a token. Near the store exit you will see a stand where you can deposit the tokens for the project of your choice. The project with the most tokens/votes gets £5,000; second gets £2,000; and third gets £1,000.
The participating Tesco stores are:
• Old Swan
• Deysbrook Barracks
• Longmoor Lane, Liverpool (Express)
• Crosby Road (Express)
• Queens Drive, Liverpool (Express)
• Old Roan (Express)
• Walton, Liverpool (Metro)
• Coronation Road, Crosby (Express)
• Princes Road, Liverpool (Express)
• Mill Lane, Liverpool (Express)
• Fazakerley Longmoor Lane (Express)
• Thornton (Express)
To find out more, go to Bags of Help website www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp
Bosco garden volunteer, Linda Van Nooijen said: “This is a great idea. Even if we come third we’ll get a grand – and that will pay for a poly-tunnel where we can grow all kinds, like tomatoes, melons, chillies, you name it!”
The voting is open until 31st of December, so get down to your local Tesco, get a fistful of tokens, and vote for Bosco! Merry Xmas!!
Looking Forward To A Merry Xmas At Bosco House
There will be plenty of festive cheer for the residents at Bosco House this Christmas.
The festivities kick off with our annual carol concert on Tuesday 20th of December at 7.00pm. Father Duggan will talk about Bosco community and welcome participation from everyone. The sisters will help out and ask people to do some readings before inviting everyone to light a candle. The evening is open to all our residents and our neighbours will be invited. There will be a buffet after the service.
Christmas Eve (Saturday 24th of December) 9.00 – 10.00am, breakfast of bacon & egg on toast will be served to residents of Bosco House, the Lodge, the flats and sit-up occupants.
Christmas Day (Sunday 25th of December) 9.00 – 10.00am, breakfast of bacon & sausage on toast will be served to residents of Bosco House, the Lodge, the flats and sit-up occupants.
Christmas Dinner is at 1.30pm, serving a full roast meal with all the trimmings for residents of Bosco House, the Lodge, and the flats.
Tuesday 27th of December, 9.00 – 10.00am, breakfast of bacon & egg on toast will be served to residents of Bosco House, the Lodge, the flats and sit-up occupants.
Also on Tuesday 27th of December at 2.00pm is the Big Buffet – cakes & mince pies with cream.
We’re all looking forward to a Merry Xmas this year!
Craig's commitment and hard work pays off!
Craig (25) came to live at Bosco Lodge in August, after experiencing some housing problems, but has already thrown himself into a range of activities and courses on offer at Bosco.
He has engaged well with his key-worker, Alison, and, after just a couple of months, he has attended (and, in some cases completed) courses on:
- Creative Writing
- IT for beginners
- Renting Ready (pre-tenancy training)
- Cooking on a Budget
- First Aid
- A taster course in tiling
- Music production
- Homeless football league
- Accesses additional support from Talent Match with Merseyside Youth Association.
As a reward for his hard work and commitment, the Bosco Society is paying the £40 fee for Craig’s 10-week construction/DIY course at Hugh Baird College.
Alison said: “Craig has been a pleasure to work with. He is a very committed young man and should he continue with this level of motivation he will go a long way in life.”
Craig said “Since moving into Bosco Lodge there have been many opportunities for me to develop, and to use my time in a positive manner. I am very grateful that Bosco has funded the construction course for me and I will try and build upon (no pun intended!) the skills I have learned so far.”
“After experiencing some housing and personal issues, I can now see light at the end of the tunnel. I would like to say a big thank you to Bosco staff for showing faith in me.”
Craig has embraced the Bosco Society ethos and has worked very hard to achieve what he has so far and deserves recognition for his enthusiasm and commitment.
Well done Craig!
Pauly - Our Volunteer Of The Month!
Our 'Volunteer of the Month' for September is Paul Heath (known to everyone as Pauly) for his punctuality, hard work, and his great sense of humour! Pauly volunteered to work on the garden project in the summer and quickly made friends with everyone at Bosco.
Pauly volunteers three days a week, working from 10am until 4pm. He is keen to get involved in all the jobs that need doing, both at Bosco House and Bosco Lodge, and has specific responsibility for ensuring all the fruit and veg are kept well watered.
In particular, Pauly keeps the front of both projects looking bright and welcoming by tending to the flowers in all the window boxes, hanging baskets, and tubs. First impressions count and many of the visitors to both the House and Lodge have commented on how lovely the floral displays are, and that's down to Pauly!
When the bees arrived he was keen to get involved and helped in building the frames for the hive. He had no hesitation in getting the bee suit on and has no fear of the bees at all. "I think the bees are fascinating," he said. "They all work together to collect pollen, make wax, build the honeycomb and look after the larvae. They're amazing!"
Well done Pauly!
The Bees Are Settling In Nicely!
Our bee colony arrived two weeks ago and the first check on their progress took place yesterday. They are settling in nicely in their new home and are perfectly happy buzzing around the Bosco garden!
Guided by bee expert Andrea Ku, garden volunteers Alan, Linda and Paul were shown how to inspect the hive, check on progress and identify the queen bee, named 'Sheila' by residents. Andrea said: "The colony is doing really well. The bees have settled in nicely, are relaxed about their new surroundings and are already collecting pollen, building cells, and making honey. Everything is fine."
Paul said: "It's amazing! I've never seen inside a beehive before. There's loads of them, but they don't seem to mind being looked at. They don't bother you, they just get on with their job. They're busy bees!"
Here are a few photographs from the inspection.
Can you spot the queen bee? (Clue: it's the one with the blue spot!)
Peter Dowd, MP, Opens Bosco Lodge
Bosco Lodge was officially opened by local MP Peter Dowd on Friday 29th July.
The Bees Are Coming!
We are buzzing after being awarded a £700 grant to create a bee colony in the Bosco House gardens. The money has been granted thanks to the Regenerus Ace Fund, a south Sefton environmental grant scheme.
It's The Bosco AGM This Friday!
The 6th Annual General Meeting of the Bosco Society will be held this Friday, 29th of July, at the new Bosco Lodge. The meeting will be preceded by the official opening of The Lodge by Bootle MP, Peter Dowd.