With spring well and truly in the air and summer just around the corner, it’s time to welcome our furry friends the bumblebees as these clever creatures seek food and shelter to make a home.
Create a Bee-Kind Habitat in your Garden
Bumblebees have one of the most important jobs in our eco system - pollinating a vast number of flowers and crops for the benefit of fellow creatures, not least ourselves.
And, without their services, many of our wildflowers and crops such as beans, peas, raspberries and tomatoes would struggle to reproduce.
With potentially more leisure time in your garden, why not spend some of it creating a 'bee-kind' habitat?
1. Create a Mini Meadow
As the days get longer and warmer there's a temptation to keep your lawns neatly mowed. However, a mini meadow will be like heaven to a bumblebee. why not leave a patch of your lawn unmown and enjoy the surprise of which wildflowers grow?
2. Plant Year-Round Flowers for Bees
Many ornamental plants that are commonly found in British gardens, such as pansies and begonias, are of no value to wildlife. Years of cultivation mean that these colourful flowers often produce little pollen or nectar.
Instead, spring flowers that are great for hungry queens waking from their winter hibernation include pussy willows, crocuses, lungworts and winter heathers. Ideal early summer flowers include allium, catmint, poppy, snapdragon, sweet pea and thyme, while perfect late summer flowers include buddleia, cornflower, Echinacea, honeysuckle and lavender.
3. Pots for Pollinators
Brighten your patios with an array of bee-friendly flowers in pots, troughs and hanging baskets, especially useful where space is at a premium.
4. Food for Thought
Don't limit your bee-kind planting to flowers: herbs, fruit and vegetables can help feed you and the bees. Think chives, mint, rosemary and thyme or strawberries, tomatoes, peas and beans.