When I had the idea of designing a Beekeeper’s Garden for the Hampton Court Flower Show one of my main aims was to highlight the plight of the bee, whose numbers had been declining for several years. The idea was avidly seized upon by the media and the BBC did a special feature which included an interview with a bee expert, Professor Ratnieks in the finished garden at Hampton Court. My story was one of many about bees last year and it caught the public’s imagination to such an extent that 18 months later comes the news that the number of privately owned bee colonies has increased by 50% from 80,000 to 120,000. Amateur beekeepers have harvested 3.5 million jars of honey this summer. This is worth £130 per hive, but the value to the economy in pollination is thought to be as much as £600 per hive. This follows the news (see my posting of December 1st 2009 ) that the bee population worldwide is increasing. Good news all round. Panic over.