Bring bees to your garden

May 27, 2021

World Bee Day had many environmental enthusiasts buzzing with excitement last week. But what can the rest of us do to help save our bees?

You may be wondering what you can do to help support these most precious pollinators.

The obvious solution would be to have a beehive in the garden, so if the idea of this excites you, then you may wish to check out what the British Beekeepers Association has to offer, to make sure you take safe steps for you, your family and your future bees!

Not all of us wish to go to extreme lengths or take on the responsibility of managing an entire colony. However, it is easy to take small steps to encourage solitary bees into the garden, which are of great help to avid gardeners and actually a lot more common than you might think.

You can easily create a “Bee Hotel”. The solitary bee just needs a simple home, which you can either easily purchase online, or create.

To create a Bee Hotel:

  • Take an untreated wooden plank approximately 10 cm wide and saw into 4 lengths, shaping it into a rectangular frame, and drill in screws to fix.
  • Cut an array of hollow stems to fit the frame, for example, bramble, reed, or bamboo. Make the reeds a range of different diameters, from 2-10 mm, to attract a broad range of this species of bee. If the stems are nobbly or bent, they will be of no use to the bee. You may wish to add larger stems, which the bee won’t use, but will help shelter ladybirds in the winter and help to reinforce the structure of the home.
  • Finally, attach the frame to a backing board, and stuff the frame with the stems, and fix it to a wall or fence.

Planting the right flowers in the garden makes all the difference to bees and it is important to plant native flowers. Bees cannot always eat the pollen from foreign species of flowers that we all love but will thrive on the local species. They adore Lavender, Echinops, Escalonia, and Teucrium, which will all be flowering this June. 

Keeping a small pond or bowl of water in the garden can also give bees the chance to drink, whilst avoiding using pesticides is also important, so as not to risk poisoning them.

If you are really interested in bees and would like to know more, then why not get a Bee Starter Kit? It could be a great way of educating the children, with a guide to the different types of bees, as well as wildflower seeds and more.

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