There are many different species of bee in the UK and a variety of ways that you can encourage them to visit your garden. This article will help you learn more about bees and discover how to turn your garden into a bee paradise.
Why should I encourage bees into my garden?
By transforming your garden into a welcoming environment for bees, you'll be helping some of Britain's biggest pollinators to survive.
Bees help to transfer pollen between flowering plants, playing a crucial role in enabling these plants to reproduce. All sorts of different flowers and crops are pollinated by bees, so we are dependent on them for much of the food we eat and for the variety of flowers and plants which grow in the UK.
In areas with few agricultural crops, such as towns and cities, bees tend to rely heavily upon garden plants and flowers as a source of nectar and pollen.
Which plants and flowers do bees like best?
Different species of bee favour different types of plants and flowers, so choose a variety for your garden. It's a good idea to select those which are native to the UK, as some rarer types of bee tend to shy away from more exotic plants.
Try introducing the following types of plants and flowers into your garden between March and September, when bees are at their most active:
- Daisy-shaped flowers, such as asters and sunflowers
- Tall, tubular flowers, such as foxgloves, larkspur and hollyhocks
- Single-flowering plants and vegetables, like fennel and cow parsley
Re-design your garden
Bees favour sunny spots and avoid strong winds, so take care to plant flowers in those areas of your garden which catch the sun.
Another way in which you can improve your garden for bees is to ensure you always have a source of water available, as bees require water to survive. You can provide this for the bees in your garden by building a pond or keeping your bird bath topped up with water.
Many common pesticides are harmful to bees. If you choose to use pesticides in your garden, try to select those which are not harmful to bees and take care to follow the instructions on the label.
Build a home for bees
Sometimes it's not the lack of variety and poor location of plants and flowers in your garden which stops bees visiting regularly, but the lack of potential nesting places.
If you're really passionate about encouraging bees to your garden, consider building a bee home, in which bees can build a nest.
Find out more about bees
For information and resources about bees and beekeeping, get in touch with The British Beekeepers Association.
Important information regarding our DIY help and advice
We try to make the advice on our website (www.HomeServe.com) as useful and reliable as possible. However, the purpose of this advice section of the website is to provide homeowners and private landlords with general guidance and useful tips only. It doesn't necessarily deal with every important topic or cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals and might not be relevant or appropriate in all circumstances. It is not designed to provide professional advice or financial advice and should not be relied on as such. Click here to read the disclaimer in full.