Bee friendly at home
Five simple and fun ways that you can support bees and other pollinators in your garden.
Pollinators like bees, wasps and butterflies are essential for creating and maintaining healthy habitats and eco-systems and are essential in supporting food production. But scientists have reported that pollinator numbers are falling worldwide due to changes in our global climate, habitat destruction and the industrial use of chemical pesticides.
To help pollinator numbers recover large scale changes to how we produce food and manage land are needed, but there are fantastic things you can do at home to make your outdoor space a haven for wildlife.
Bee friendly at home in 5 simple ways
1. Flower power
Plant nectar rich flowers, shrubs and trees to provide food for pollinators all year round.
You can buy UK native wildflower seeds easily online or you might find a seed-swapping scheme in your community (but make sure you follow covid 19 government guidelines). Willow and early flowering fruit trees help bees as they emerge from their long winter sleep so don’t cut them back if they are growing naturally.
2. Be untidy, hooray!
By cutting your grass less, letting wildlife corridors form around and through your garden, and allowing wildflowers like dandelions and even nettles to grow, you will encourage a variety of insects, birds and mammals into your garden.
Replace fences and walls with hedges and paving slabs with wood chippings; leave piles of leaves, twigs and logs for shelter, and you could see nature flourish in your garden.
3. Ditch the chemicals
Herbicides and pesticides will harm pollinators and many other creatures living in your garden. Instead, encourage natural pest controllers like ladybirds with nectar rich plants.
Ladybirds love to eat 2 things…pests and pollen, yum yum, so plant things like fennel, marigold, chives, feverfew and yarrow. Flat, wide flowers act like a landing pad, which ladybirds love!
4. Build a bug hotel
A bug hotel is a multi-layered, multi-textured structure in your garden that provides a home for many different types of insects, mammals and even amphibians.
Using a variety of easy to find materials such as twigs, leaves, pine cones, bamboo canes, clay pots and bricks you can create a wonderful habitat for thousands of creepy crawlies and a thing of wild beauty in your garden.
We’ve created a “build a bug hotel” activity to help you create a fantastic, bug friendly addition to your outdoor space.
5. Bee aware
Paying more attention to our wildlife neighbours can have a positive effect on them and us. There is tons of research about UK pollinators out there so spend some time getting to know our busy friends online and in your outside spaces.
At CAT we love pollinators so we’ve created our very own citizen science pollinators at home survey that you can get involved in, a Get to know your wildlife neighbours activity and Build a tiny pond activity.