Help save our native bees

Bee on a flower in the garden

Native bees are in decline, and it’s up to us to help. Find out more and get some top tips for making your garden into a haven for wildlife.

Bees are one of our most important pollinators, and we rely on their hard work for much of what we eat. They pollinate the flowers that produce our fruit, nuts and seeds, and help to spread colour through our green and pleasant land. And it’s not just honey bees that are in trouble, there are over 250 species of solitary and bumble bee that live in the UK. Loss of nesting habitat, reduced species diversity in our countryside and increased use of pesticides are exerting considerable pressure on these insects. But as gardeners there’s a lot we can do to help.

Here at Arlington we are trying to create nesting sites for bees, from our long grass to our log piles, our stone walls to bamboo bundles, we are hoping to provide a haven for wildlife. We’ve recently planted a bee friendly border with a range of flowering plants that will extend the season for foraging insects, creating a source of pollen and nectar beyond the summer months.

We’ve loved watching our busy bees this spring, pollinating the apricot tree in the glasshouse, the lemons in the conservatory and the blackcurrants in the fruit cage. They’ve now set to work on our apple arch.

Here are some top tips from Gardener Laura for a bee friendly garden:

  • Avoid using pesticides and weed killers
  • Accept messy corners - this includes log piles and brambles
  • Let your grass grown longer - embrace clover and wildflowers in your lawn as they provide food and habitat
  • Plant a fruit tree or native hedge - it will support numerous insects