It’s said that bees are responsible for one out of every three bites of food we eat. That staggering statistic isn’t just referring to people who have a penchant for honey either because while that is a fantastic natural food stuff, it’s the flowers bees pollinate that makes them a crucial part of our ecosystem.
That’s why their existence is so important to us and we should do everything we can to help their numbers thrive; especially as bees are having a hard time right now all over the world.
Unfortunately, our love of beautiful, lush grass doesn’t really help our tiny yellow and black friends. There’s nothing in it for them and they’d much rather be keeping themselves busy with flowering plants. And that goes for all the beneficial insects that visit our gardens.
The good news is that there are lots of things you can do in your own back garden to encourage bees to nest there and none of them involve getting a bee-hive.
The first and most obvious step you can take to help bees is to have plenty of flowering plants in your garden. It doesn’t really matter if they’re native or non-native. The important part is that they flower and you allow the flowers to flourish.
Native daisies are a great choice if you like to keep your garden native. If you don’t, exotic plants are excellent because they often flower during winter when there are not a lot of other flowers about.
Borage is a great example of an exotic plant that bees love and you can even eat it, which many people don’t know. In fact, it’s a particular favourite of bees because of its blue colour and abundance of nectar.
You should also be aware of the insecticides you’re using as some can be devastating for bee populations. If you have to use sprays, try and not spray the flowers themselves because that’s where bees will inevitably land. Also, don’t forget that insecticide sprays kill both predators and prey, so you could end up wiping out the insects that naturally predate on nuisance bugs such as aphids.