Top Tips for helping wild bees
Top Tip #1
Habitat is of vital importance. Looking after the soil is an instant way to help! Many wild bees start life under ground so please do not spray your lawns and beds with herbicides or pesticides as this will kill young bees. One little bee even likes to occupy old snail shells, what fabulous recycling that is! Some other species like above ground areas to nest, and this can be anything from a bamboo or other stem inside a bee hotel or a hole in a wall or a log. Installing a bee box gives an instant helping hand. To make sure your bee hotel is just right, here is a 'how to' pdf from the experts: http://www.bwars.com/sites/www.bwars.com/files/info_sheets/bee_hotels_infosheet.pdf
Top Tip #2
Food plants like Mahonia, Hellebore, Winter Honeysuckle, Pulmonaria, Primrose, Crocus and spring blossoming trees for bees that keep active in the colder months, are very helpful. These types of LATE and EARLY flowering plants help keep bees full of energy.
Lots of bee species prefer different types of plant, and this can depend on how far the little bee can reach its tongue. So we recommend a book called 'plants for bees' and another one called Field Guide to the Bees of Great Britain and Ireland
Lawns that are allowed to flower are a brilliant resource for bees, with plants like Self Heal, Daisy, Dandelion, Buttercup and Clover all abundant in pollen and nectar, and you can even add crocus to a lawn to give an early boost. The good thing about this is that it also means you do not have to put lawn feed down, and if you cut just one notch higher with the mower all these plants will happily flower while you sill have a manageable lawn.
Have you seen our recommended bee film on the Bee City page? It will also explain why having a patch of 'Lambs Ears' is a great thing for any garden. We also recommend Comfrey and lots of herbs, bees of all shapes and sizes love them.
Water is also vital for busy pollinators so click here to see how to make a very simple bee waterer (Its a great easy project for the kids)
Top Tip #3
Keep looking for bees and soon you will become familiar with them. If its flies - take a picture and go to Ispot to find out more about it. The more you know the more you can help spread the word about Solitary bees.
Book a bee talk for your group or organisation, click here to chat about available dates.