Why would you want to attract bees to your garden? The answer is simple: bees do an incredibly important job – they play a vital part in the production of nearly a third of all the food we eat!
A huge number of the crops grown for human consumption rely on bees to pollinate them. Fruits, vegetables and nuts, as well as plants such as rapeseed and sunflowers (that are turned into oil), all rely on bees to pollinate them to increase their yields and quality. Even crops grown as fodder for livestock are pollinated by bees.
You can easily help these busy pollinators by making your garden a bee haven. The great news is that you don’t need a large garden to attract bees, all sizes of gardens can be made bee-friendly – from balconies to acres of land.
Planting to attract bees
Bees move from flower to flower, collecting pollen and nectar, pollinating as they go. To attract bees to your garden, you’ll need to ensure you have as many bee-friendly plants as possible – ideally those that flower all year round. Many common plants (which are easy to find and grow) are ideal for bees – here’s some of their favourite flowers to get your garden buzzing:
- Apple trees
The British Beekeeping Association has a full list of plants, trees and flowers that bees love. Or you can visit Bee Kind to see how your garden scores for bee friendliness.
Unsurprisingly, pesticides can harm bees so either stop using them altogether, or avoid spraying on plants and flowers which bees visit.
Give bees a drink
Just like all living things bees need to drink. Adding pebbles or marbles to small, water-filled bowls will give them a safe spot to hydrate without the danger of drowning.
If you’d like to go to the next step in supporting bees, look into setting up your own beehive. You don't need a big garden and there's lots of different designs to choose from. Naturally, we like the ones made from recycled pallets, but be sure to carefully select pallet wood that hasn’t been treated with chemicals.