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The Importance of bees - what can gardeners do to help bees?

Bees are one of the most important creatures on the planet. They play a crucial role in pollinating crops, which provides us with food, and supports our economy. However, in recent years, bees have been threatened by a range of factors, including habitat loss and disease. As gardeners, we can help to protect and support bees by creating bee-friendly gardens and taking steps to promote their wellbeing.

Why are bees so important?

Bees are responsible for pollinating around 80% of crops that are grown for human consumption. Without bees, we would have less food, and our diets would be less diverse. In addition to pollinating crops, bees also play a key role in maintaining the health of ecosystems. They help to pollinate wildflowers, which are an important source of food for other wildlife. Bees also help to maintain the health of soil by pollinating plants that support the soil structure.

What can gardeners do to help bees?

There are a number of things that gardeners can do to support bee populations. One of the simplest things you can do is to plant bee-friendly flowers in your garden. Bees are attracted to flowers that are rich in nectar and pollen, such as lavender, borage, and marjoram. By planting these flowers, you can provide a source of food for bees throughout the year.

Look out for our "Good for Bees" badges on our products to see which trees and shrubs are great for these little pollinators.

Another way to support bees is to provide nesting sites. Solitary bees, such as mason bees and leafcutter bees, nest in hollow plant stems, holes in wood, and other small crevices. You can create nesting sites for these bees by leaving some areas of your garden untrimmed, or by drilling holes in wood or bamboo. You can also buy or make bee hotels, which provide nesting sites for a range of bee species.

Finally, gardeners can help to promote the health of bees by avoiding the use of pesticides and other chemicals. Chemicals can be harmful to bees and can disrupt their natural behaviour. Instead, choose natural pest control methods, such as companion planting and biological controls, to keep your garden healthy.

In conclusion, bees are a vital part of our ecosystem and play a crucial role in pollinating crops and maintaining the health of ecosystems. As gardeners, we can play an important role in supporting and protecting bee populations by planting bee-friendly flowers, providing nesting sites, and avoiding the use of harmful chemicals. By taking these steps, we can help to ensure that bees continue to thrive and support our food systems and environment for generations to come.