Attracting Bees To Your Garden
Bees are a very important part of our environment and play a huge role in putting food on your plate. Due to changing farming practices and changes to our countryside, bee numbers are currently in decline with some species even becoming extinct or close to extinction.
Read more below to see how you help towards attracting bees to your garden.
The Importance of Bees
- Bees are vital pollinators. Pollination is needed to enable plants to reproduce.
- Bees pollinate 70 different types of crop, including apples, beans, cucumber, lettuce, onions, turnips and many more! These crops feed 90% of the world’s population.
- It is estimated that one third of our total food is dependent on pollination.
- Bees produce 6,000 tonnes of honey in the UK each year.
- It is estimated that bees contribute £400 million to the UK economy each year!
- Pollination is also important for keeping crops such as clover growing which we may not eat directly but we eat the meat of the livestock that feed off this.
It is thought that without bees, without the crops that they pollinate, without the meat that we eat which are dependent on the crops, then the world would struggle to feed and sustain its growing population. I bet that when you have seen a bee buzzing around your garden you have never realised how busy they are working and how much you have to thank them for! It’s time to spruce up your garden to attract bees and make them feel at home as a thank you for all their hard work!
Making Your Garden Bee Friendly
Below are a few easy tips to help make your garden more bee friendly and help to attract and look after them:
- Choose the right flowers – Bees like flowers with open or flat tubular petals that contain lots of pollen and nectar. Try to plant a variety of flowers so that there are some flowers in bloom all year long. See our list below for recommended flowers.
- Plant in the right place – Plant your bee friendly flowers in clusters in sunny spots of your garden. This will make nice areas for bees to buzz around and explore.
- Provide some refreshments – Bees get thirsty but because they are only little they struggle in big ponds and bird baths. Leave a little plate or tray out with some water on to help them out.
- Avoid pesticides – Try not to use pesticides or other chemicals in your garden as bees are quite delicate! Particulary avoid using them when flowers are in bloom.
- Make a bee hotel – Bee shelters can be bought from garden centres, or you can make your own with an old box and some nesting tubes. This will provide some shelter and a nesting spot for bees.
Bee Friendly Flowers
As mentioned above, bees like nice flat open petals with lots of pollen and nectar on offer for them. Avoid double-flowered varieties as these have extra petals within the flower and can make it difficult for bees to reach the centre. Try to keep some flowers in bloom all year round for bees, and choose a variety of colours and shapes for them to explore. Below are some of our favourite flowers, fruits and vegetables to help get you started, which also happen to be a hit with bees too!
Fruit and Vegetables
- Runner beans
- Broad beans
Now you know how much work bees do for us and how important they are, give them a little thank you by making your garden bee friendly! A few simple changes and your garden can become a bee paradise and help to save our precious bees.