How To Attract Bees To Your Garden
With wild bees and other pollinators in decline it is very important to do everything you can in your garden to make them bee friendly! If you are growing your own fruit and vegetables in your garden, attracting bees will benefit you by ensuring they produce fruit.
No matter how big or small your outside space is, planting bee friendly plant species can really help to boost the bee population in your area. If all of us planted just two of these plants each it would make such a huge difference!
We have put together our top tips for enticing bees into your garden!
1. Relax On Weeding
Leaving spots in your garden undisturbed and letting nature take its course is really great for bees and many other types of wildlife!
2. Make Bee Hotels
Making bee hotels can be a fun craft for both adults and children, they can make great nesting spots for bees. Bee hotels are best placed in a south facing location but not in direct sunlight. They are perfect for solitary bees as they will come and lay their eggs in the hollow cavities.
You can either make your own or buy one from your local garden centre. You will be able to find lots of examples and tutorials online for how to make the perfect bee hotel!
3. Don’t Use Pesticides
Did you know that many insecticides can kill bees! When purchasing pesticides be sure to look out for neonicotinoids in the ingredients list as this is the substance that is fatal for bees.
4. Help Tired Bees
If you find a bee standing still and appearing tired, they may be dehydrated. Give them a sugar solution by mixing equal parts sugar and warm water. Place the solution in a bottle lid or another small vessel and place it near the bees head and it should stick out its proboscis to drink and get moving again.
5. Plant Wildflowers
Planting wildflowers is great for the rarer bumblebee species as they prefer wildflowers. Luckily for you wildflowers are easy to grow and maintain, they are also very pest resistant. Trees that produce lots of flowers such as apple or willow can be great as they flower in the winter and early spring when bees find it more difficult to find pollen.
6. Keep It Colourful
Bees love yellow, blue and purple flowers, to attract bees to your garden keep your flowers bold and bright so bees notice them easily.
7. Allow Lawn Weeds To Grow
Allow your lawn weeds such as dandelions to grow as they can prove to be a great pollen source for bees early in the season. White clover is another lawn flower that is very popular with bees.
8. Grow Plants Rich With Nectar and Pollen
Avoid plants with double or multi-petalled flowers as their flowers are filled with petals that bees can find hard to access, they also often have very little nectar and pollen.
Having a variety of different pollen-rich flowers is great for bees because different bumblebee species prefer different shaped flowers. Having a variety of plants that flower continuously throughout the year is very important.
9. Don’t Aggravate Them
If you leave bees alone and let them sniff around undisturbed they will leave you alone. If you aggravate them by trying to swat them away they are more likely to sting you. Teaching children not to be afraid of bees, and explaining how important they are from a young age will also help to keep the bee population thriving!
We have also put together some examples of flowering plants you could grow in each season to attract bees into your garden all year round!
Summer: Lavender, Foxgloves, Comfrey, Cardon and Echinops.
Autumn: Abelia, Single-flowered Dahlias, Salvias and Sedum.
Winter: Snowdrops, Ivy, and Winter honeysuckle.
Spring: Daffodils, Aliums, Crab apple, and Flowering cherry.
We hope this blog post has been helpful to you and you now have some great ideas of ways you can help your local bee population!