For the love of Bees. How to make your garden bee friendly
Bees are critical to human survival, with the Earthwatch Institute declaring them the most important species on the planet. (https://www.intelligentliving.co/bees-declared-most-important-species-on-earth/) unfortunately, they face multiple challenges for survival, including huge loss of habitat and natural food sources, as well as pesticide use.
The importance of bees and my growing awareness of the challenges they face was the driver for sponsoring a bee with orders.
When I was discussing the bee sponsorship pledge with Plan Bee Ltd, they suggested I watch Jimmy’s Big Bee Rescue on 4 On Demand, and it was fantastic. As well as explaining the importance of bees, and the challenges they face, he spoke with farmers, schools and communities to see how they could make changes to help the bees. I believe it is still available, I would highly recommend watching it.
Here are some of the tips I got from Jimmy’s Big Bee Rescue, as well as other great sources, for making your outdoor space bee friendly:
- Make (or buy) and hang a bee hotel. When I think bees, I think hives, but there are solitary bees who need somewhere to that is safe and warm to stay.
- Plant pollen rich plants, no matter how limited your garden space is. Hanging baskets, window ledge planter, a corner of your garden are all places you can provide pollinators with a source of food for bees.
- Avoid pesticides.
- Leave weeds. Dandelions in lawns are a great source of food for our pollinating friends, consider leaving them, especially in spring, and clover is a bee favourite.
- Plant for all seasons. Having a variety of plants that will bloom and provide food from spring to Autumn.
Plants and Flowers for your Garden
Here are some pollinator friendly plants and flowers that bees and other pollinators love. There are lots, lots more that can be found at the resources listed below and remember you can always get bee bombs or other wildflower seeds that contain native flowers.
Great for planters:
- Cosmos Apollo
- Lobularia maritima
- Pieris japonica
- Rudbeckia hirta
Great for hanging baskets
- Sweet Pea
- Alliums and Chives
- Common Daisy
If you are looking for ideas for plants and flowers that will help to create a pollinator paradise in your garden, the following resources are available;
- The Royal Horticultural Society has some wonderful resources, including an list of plants, categorised by season https://www.rhs.org.uk/science/conservation-biodiversity/wildlife/plants-for-pollinators
- Friends of the Earth has some useful resources and guides for herbs, plants, how to make a bee hotel and much more. https://friendsoftheearth.uk/nature/gardening-bees
- Bug Life are a charity based in the UK and are the only organisation in Europe devoted to the conservation of all invertebrates. You can join as a member to support their cause and they have a fantastic garden design graphic for making your garden wildlife friendly https://www.buglife.org.uk/get-involved/gardening-for-bugs/
- Would you like to adopt a bee? Check out our friends at Plan Bee Ltd and adopt a bee for yourself or as a gift
If you have any tips on making your garden a pollinator heaven, I would love to hear them.