Bringing back bees

Wildlife gardening

Bringing back bees

© Rachel Scopes

We need bees

You might be surprised to learn that there are over 240 species of bees  in the UK!

These include 1 honey bee species, 25 bumblebees and an amazing 224 species of solitary bees, which come in many colours, shapes and sizes.

It’s no secret that bees and other pollinators are facing significant threats from habitat loss, disease and the overuse of pesticides, but with a little work, your garden can serve as a fantastic habitat for a wide range of bee species throughout the year.

Did you know that bees provide us with every third mouthful we eat? Without them, we couldn't grow foods like tomatoes, blueberries and strawberries

Helping bees in your garden

It's easier than you think to make your garden a haven for bees and other pollinators!

Plant nectar and pollen rich flowers

Feed the bees! Plant a diverse range of nectar-rich flowering plants and shrubs that bloom at different times of the year.

Great choices include borage, cornflowers, seedum, sunflowers, ivy, Aubretia, scabious, hebe, winter flowering crocus and winter flowering hellebore.

More plants for pollinators

Bumblebees

Bumblebees with shorter tongues need short, open flowers with nectar within easy reach.

How to attract bumblebees

 

Bumble bee on borage

© Chris Gomersall/2020VISION

Create nesting sites

From minors to masons, different bee species choose a variety of places to set up home. Provide long and short grass in your garden as both serve as potential nesting sites for different species of bee.

You can now buy a variety of artificial homes for bees and other insects, or you could try our activity sheet below to make your own!

How to make a bee hotel

Encourage natural predators

Try to avoid chemicals like pesticides or fungicides in your garden. Instead, encourage natural predators. Log piles are great for beetles, as are compost bins, which also take care of your food waste!

More pesticide alternatives

Slow worm in garden

© Chris Lawrence

Provide a water source

Can you create a wildlife pond? Or alternatively, how about a pot sunk into the ground, or a bird bath containing a few submerged rocks, to enable bees to reach the water?

How to build a wildlife pond

Frog in pond

© Mark Hamblin/2020VISION

Bee identification

Bee ID Chart