Bringing back bees

Bringing back bees

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.

Did you know that bees provide us with every third mouthful of food we eat? Without bees, we would be unable to grow lots of our favourite foods, including tomatoes, blueberries, strawberries and green beans.

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 be a fantastic habitat for a range of bee species throughout the year.

5 Ways you can help bees

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Jon Hawkins - Surrey Hills Photography

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.

Sunflower Wildnet Amy Lewis wildlifetrusts_40333690946

Amy Lewis

Perennial Cornflower, Centaurea montana Notts WT cpt Al Greer

Al Greer

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!

Make a solitary bee nest

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!

Log pile NottsWT cpt Scott Petrek

Scott Petrek

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?

Pond building Notts WT

Identify your bees

Bee ID sheet 2
leaves at Clumber (3) Notts WT

Wildlife gardening

Discover more ways that you can care for wildlife in your garden

Find out more