20th May is World Bee Day, created by the UN to raise awareness of the importance of bees, the threats they face and their contribution to sustainable development.
Bees provide an amazing service by pollinating the plants we grow and it has been widely reported that we all depend on the survival of bees. So, to mark World Bee Day, you better bee-lieve we’ve got some great tips to keep the bees happy in your garden.
Plentiful pollen and nectar
Grow flowers that are rich in pollen and nectar, this could include Crocus, hellebore and winter heather, Honey Suckle or Bluebells to name a few.
Feed the bees all year
Plant a variety of plants that will bloom at different times of the year to ensure your garden offers the bees access to year-round blooms.
Grow your own
There are many benefits to growing your own fruit and vegetables and bees love plants that produce fragrant flowers and fruit. So, if you’re thinking about planting a vegetable garden, consider some of the plants that bees favour like strawberries, cucumbers, peppers or pumpkins. Bees are also big fans of herbs, so if you don’t have the space to grow fruit and vegetables, a small herb garden will still attract them. Herbs like rosemary, coriander, mint and thyme can enhance your mealtimes and are very popular with bees too.
Lay off the weeding and go wild
Weeds can be a real pain for gardeners – but many of them will actually attract bees such as dandelions, cow parsley and clovers. So, consider keeping some of these weeds for the bees if you can. In fact, if you have the space, why not let a little area of your garden go completely wild and let nature take its course?
Brilliant bee gardens
If you’re really keen to help the bees, you could consider creating a bee garden, here’s some great advice from the Honey Bee Conservancy.
Healthy plants and happy bees
Don’t forget to water your plants regularly, especially in hot weather, this will help ensure they produce plenty of nectar for the bees.
Did you know single-petalled flowers or flowers with just one row of petals, including geraniums, roses or marigolds, have more pollen than other flowers, so they offer the bees a little more to enjoy.
B&B for bees
You could create a bee hotel in your garden to help the bees to thrive by giving them somewhere safe to lay their eggs. There are plenty of ready-made bee hotels available to buy or you can have a go at creating your own.
Let us know how you’re making your garden more bee friendly in the comments or on social media.