Why are bees important?
Bees are important pollinators of fruit and vegetables as well as the feed to our livestock. It is estimated that one third of the food that we consume each day relies on pollination mainly by bees but also by other insects, birds and bats.
Bee colonies all over the world have always been vulnerable to disease because they are densely packed environments through which infections can spread rapidly. In recent years these threats have grown and it is vital that we do all we can to encourage bees populations to thrive on our wildflowers in meadowland, hedgerows and our gardens.
How can I help?
You can encourage bees into your garden by:
- creating suitable nesting sites
- growing plants and flowers that will encourage bees
Creating nesting sites to encourage bees
You will find a range of bee nests available at your local garden centre. Alternatively you can have a go at building your own:
- find an old piece of timber (a fence post is ideal)
- drill a variety of different sized holes (up to a maximum of 10 mm)
- ensure that the holes are drilled in an upward angle to allow rain water to drain out
- dig the timber into the ground facing the sun or attach the timber to an existing post with some gardening wire
The top 5 families of plants and flowers for encouraging bees are: