Gardeners – bees need your help
Climate change is having a big impact on biodiversity. For example a mild wet winter, followed by cold spells in spring mean that plants start growing early then are damaged by late frost and bees have trouble finding the food at the end of winter when they need it most. Many colonies of bees are lost in spring due to starvation.
Bees need plants
Bees are vegetarian and so plants are where they find their food.
Plants produce POLLEN which supplies the proteins bees need for strong bodies and healthy larval development, and NECTAR which provides sugar for energy.
10 ways to help bees:
- Just like us, bees need variety in their diet and establishing a range of nectar and pollen rich plants will have your garden buzzing in no time. Whether you have a large garden, a window box or a few pots, you can do bees a favour by including some pollen and nectar rich plants. For a comprehensive list of plants see: http://www.bbka.org.uk/
- Wherever possible choose the old, ‘cottage garden’ varieties of plants.
- Plant in ‘drifts’ – a square yard of each plant works well.
- At the garden centre look for plants carrying the Perfect for Pollinators label.
- Leave some dandelions and clover to flower – they’re great for bees.
- Garden organically – avoid using any chemicals. Ask your golf club or bowling club to review their lawn treatments to take account of bees.
- Do what you can to combat climate change – think globally, act locally. Grow your own food, reduce, recycle, reuse.
- Come along to your local beekeeping association- it’s for everyone who is interested in bees – not just beekeepers!
- Maybe you can provide some space for a beekeeper to site a couple of hives?
- Become a beekeeper. You won’t regret it!