31 Days, 31 Ways to an eco-friendly New Year
Day 10 - #bringthebeesback
While we are all stuck at home, why not get outside in the garden and plant some bee-friendly flowers. It is something that will bring beauty and joy to your garden come the spring and summer. And the bees are going to love you for it.
There are over 250 species of bee in the UK: 25 species of bumble bee, 224 species of solitary bee and 1 honey bee species. But their numbers have declined over the past 50 years. They are the planet’s most important pollinators and estimates suggest that one third of the food we consume relies upon them.
Loss of natural habitat
One of the main reasons for this decline is loss of natural habitat - 97% of bee and butterfly natural habitat has been lost since WW2. For bees, this means less space to live and less flowers to provide the essential nectar and pollen they feed on.
But with your help, we can start to restore the lost wildflower habitat and make an important contribution to the biodiversity of Great Britain. Just by planting more bee-friendly plants and flowers.
Bee-friendly flowers & plants
Many flowers and shrubs found in garden centres are no good for bees – they just don't produce any nectar or pollen. Here’s our suggestions for plants and flowers that will provide a feast for bees all year round:
Winter: Crocus, hellebore and winter heather (Erica carnea)
Spring: Aubretia (Aubreta), bugle (Ajuga), spotted deadnettle (Lamium maculatum), lungwort (Pulmonaria) or snake's-head fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris)
Summer: Allium (especially Allium sphaerocephalon), borage, catmint (Nepeta) Cirsium rivulare, foxglove (Digitalis) and most herbs
Autumn: Bugbane (Actaea simplex), Caryopteris, Dahlias (single-flowered) and ivy
Vera-Bee also stocks several types of Beebombs which are so easy to sow - perfect for planting with little ones. They need no gardening skills - just throw your Beebombs onto cleared soil and await the blossom of colour and the return of native bee and butterfly species.
Beebomb Seedballs - These Wildflower Beebombs contain 1000s of seeds from 18 native wildflower species which have been specially chosen for their bee-friendliness, mixed with local, protective clay and sifted, nurturing top soil.
Beebom Seedboms - These great seedboms come in several varieties, Pollinator, Urban Bloomer, Wilder and Poppy or we sell a set of four different seedboms selected for Birds, Bees & Butterflies.
So, bring the bees back and on warm, sunny days, you can sit back and listen to their gentle hum as they busily stock up on your flowers.
Charlie & Colette