Building A Bee-autiful Garden

by Jane on March 12, 2019


Photo by Vernon Raineil Cenzon on Unsplash

Here is a guest post from author and garden designer Karoline Gore, in time for the planting season.

Building your own garden is one of the most soothing and enjoyable activities you can do, but why not make it beneficial for wildlife too? Bees account for ?400 million of the U.K. economy through pollination alone. Bees are a staple of the ecosystem and necessary for dozens of fruits and vegetables, including strawberries and tomatoes, and are a wonderful addition to gardens for these reasons. So when you’re looking for new ideas for your garden, consider adding bees to the familiar ecosystem.

Why Bees?

Over 25 species of bees live in the U.K. alone, but that number can be misleading. Three species of bee have already gone extinct, two are critically endangered, and many more are rapidly declining in numbers. Yet, bees account for 80% of crop yields! It’s not all bad news, though. Honeybees, in general, are very passive and gentle as well, and many home gardeners are taking the initiative and building gardens that attract bees. Creating a haven in your own garden is only one of the ways to help protect the bee population. With everyone working together, we can build beautiful gardens and help a species in need at the same time

Bringing Bees To Your Garden

There are a variety of ways to bring bees into your garden. Keep in mind when planting that bees love the colours blue, purple, and yellow, and are attracted to beautiful plants like dandelions, lilacs, and gaillardia. Provide a fresh water source that doubles as decoration such as a birdbath or water feature. And of course, don’t use any pesticides or chemicals in your garden – you don’t want to harm them, and most of these are harmful to plants as well.

You’ll also want to hold off on tearing weeds out of your gardens. Weeds have natural beauty in themselves, but they’re also great food for honeybees.

Purple planting in Tom Stuart Smith's garden
Bee-friendly flower colours

That’s it! Making a bee friendly garden is as easy as adding a few colourful plants, giving them some water to sip, and giving them some weeds their young can munch on. You can successfully create a stunning and vibrant garden while also helping keep the bee population alive and well. At that point, your garden stops just being about you but becomes about helping the ecosystem at large. And we can all feel good about that.

PS from Jane: Here are some good pictures of the different bees in British gardens so you can identify them.

https://friendsoftheearth.uk/bee-count/great-british-bee-count-bee-identification-guide

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