24 May 2017

How can you help keep UK bees happy?

Bees in the UK are in decline. Here are a few suggestions to help create an eco-system friendlier to our bee population.

Chives in the Kitchen Garden

Plant bee-friendly plants 

You can have beautiful plants, and provide bees with vital nectar all year round. 

Here are some ideas for what we recommend for each season: 

  • Spring - pussy willow, primroses and crocuses 
  • Summer - lavenders, meadow cranesbill and ox-eye daisies 
  •  Autumn - ivy and hebes 
  • Winter - mahonia shrubs and cyclamen 

Leave the weeds 

Weeds are actually wildflowers and are a great source of food for bees. 

  • Try weeding less frequently to help your local bees 
  • Let your garden grow wild - bumblebees will be able to make nests more easily 
  • Put the lawnmower away. Mowing the grass kills both the bees and the flowers from which they collect nectar and pollen 

No garden? 

No garden? No problem. There are still many things you can do to help keep bees happy. 

  • Plant a window box or patio pot with borage. The late flowering plant provides nectar when food is scarce 
  • Build an insect hotel and rent it out to the bees this summer. Make sure to secure it at least one metre above the ground 
  • Help bees to hydrate by keeping a pot of moist moss outside. Bees can safely suck out the moisture 

For more tips 

For more tips on how to keep bees happy, take a look at five simple actions (including how to make a bee hotel) recommended by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.