How to Make The Ideal Bee-Friendly Garden
It is common knowledge that the bees are slowly disappearing. So we as humans need to make that extra bit of effort to provide them with safe spaces, to allow our little bee friends to thrive instead of flounder. It may sound like a lot of work to create an environment for a particular insect, however, bees are quite easy to please so long as you take the necessary care when setting your garden up. When you have everything in place, a bee-friendly garden required no more maintenance than any other garden.
1. Check the Labels For Bee-Friendly Pesticides
Unfortunately, certain neonicotinoid pesticides are widely used on crops by farmers across the UK, and the use of these pesticides has been sanctioned by the government meaning it likely will not change any time soon. These pesticides present a high risk to bees and other pollinating insects and are likely contributing to the reduction of bees in general.
When you are looking at what plants to buy for your garden, always make a point of checking the label for and of the following three pesticides if you wish to minimize the chance of harm coming to the bees that visit you:
If you were to do nothing else with your garden, avoiding these toxic pesticides will be more than enough to provide bees with a place of safety to forage and pollinate.
2. Select Native Attractive Plant Species
Knowing which plants to choose from should help you to narrow down and optimise your flower-buying time, so by picking from the below list of plants you can fill your garden with attractive plant species that will bring a variety of pollinating insects to your garden.
Native bees require native plants, it is in their nature to be drawn towards flowers and plants that are familiar. Using exotic plants in a bee-friendly garden can be counterproductive. Here is a quick list of flowers and herbs you could choose from.
- Evergreen Clementis
- Common Poppy
- Chive Flower
- Bronze Fennel
- Green Coriander Seed
- Lemon Thyme
3. Give The Bees Somewhere To Drink
Bees need hydration just as much as any other animal, and pollinating the country is thirsty work, so fitting a bee bath somewhere in your garden would be a very smart move.
Bee baths don’t need to be anything fancy. For a simple and easy-to-maintain area for your local bees to quench their thirst, simply grab a plate you don’t mind leaving outside, line it with rocks that are roughly the same size, and add water.
You will need to ensure that the water level does not come any higher than the rocks. The bees need to be able to use the rocks on the plate as a purchase in order to reach the water without getting wet – this is very important.
4. Get Yourself a Bee House
Bee houses aren’t so much for your honey or bumblebees, but for mason bees. Mason bees burrow until the mortar between the bricks of a building and lay eggs in the hole. They don’t cause any structural damage to the building they are inhabiting, but this is not necessarily safe for them due to crumbling mortar.
Bee houses can be made easily using a wooden box and some bamboo sticks. The bamboo will need to be tightly packed together, as if to resemble honeycomb, and will provide the bees with a safe and deep space to lay their eggs. Bee houses are rising in popularity as awareness is raised about the bees disappearing, and are an ideal addition to a bee-friendly garden.
The most important thing to remember when building a bee house is: DO NOT USE CEDAR. It is toxic to many bee breeds and isn’t worth the risk.
Even if you are only able to do one of the things from this list, you are actively seeking to help the bee population, and that is all we can ask. Environmental awareness is crucial in helping our beautiful planet survive under the weight of our ever-growing population. Saving bees from extinction is far more important than many people realise, and so you should be proud to be doing your part. We can only hope that others feel inspired to do the same.
Whilst you’re here, feel free to check out our other home and garden related content!