Grow Wildflowers to help our declining Bees
There has been a lot of coverage in the media about the decline of our Bees. Bees play a very important role in all our lives and we simply could not live without them. In recent years the Honey Bee population has dropped by 30%.
Many agricultural/horticultural crops either grown on a large scale or in your back garden need Bees to pollinate their flowers to produce their crops such as Tree fruits - Apples, Pears, Plums etc, Soft Fruits - Blackcurrants, Raspberries, Strawberries etc and Vegetables - Tomatoes, Peppers, Beans, Courgettes - plants that are not pollinated will not produce a crop.
There are a number of possible factors for the decline of our Bees:-
- Loss of Habitat
- Shortage of Food
How can we help?
- Leave areas in your garden to go ‘wild’ to provide habitat for Bees to nest, put up Solitary Bee Hives, Bee Houses, Logs or even Bird Boxes which are often occupied by Bees.
- Sow and grow Wildflowers, many Bees rely on our native Wildflowers, and the loss of 97% of our Wildflower Meadows over the last 70 years has had a devastating effect.
- Do not use pesticides in your garden, try an environmentally friendly alternative and let the wildlife keep the pests at bay.
Sow your own Wildflower Meadow
Wildflowers seeds are widely available to buy, now is the perfect time to begin sowing, ideally buy a mix that will flower over many months.
- Choose your site, a sunny, sheltered position is ideal, Wildflowers generally prefer poor soil.
- Clear the ground of weeds, and large stones.
- Lightly dig over and rake the surface.
- Mix the seeds in a container with dry sand this will help you to see where you have sown the seeds and to get an even coverage.
- Scatter the seeds, lightly rake them in then water well.
- Continue to water the plants until established especially in dry weather.
If you are short of space Wildflowers can be grown in pots, window boxes and even between your vegetables.
Flowers which are good for Bees are also beneficial to Butterflies, Moths and other insects, so by planting more nectar rich flowers you will be helping these insects too.
Special Wildflower Seed mixes are available specifically designed to benefit certain insects these include a Bumble Bee Attractor Pack, Pollinating Bees Attractor Pack, Butterflies Attractor Pack.