I’m buzzin’ about my new blog on how to ‘Bee’ #WildAboutGardens

WildAboutGardens Week starts today 23rd ’til 29th October. Ran by the RHS and The Wildlife Trust they help raise awareness about the importance of gardening for wildlife!

Each year, ‘Wild About Gardens’ focus on a different type of species; last year it was all bats, this year it’s wild bees. There is a bit of information on what Wild About Gardens Week is all about and why we need to protect wildlife here

Why wild bees?

Bees are important in our gardens, for pollination – flowers, plants, fruit and veg all need them – we wouldn’t have any apples without bees, they are an essential part of the food chain!

“With honeybees often stealing the show, we wanted to draw attention to the plight of the wide range of solitary and bumblebees that also need our help. And of course, helping out our pollinators helps us too, with the work of bees indirectly providing us with every third mouthful of food we eat. It’s no secret that many pollinators are facing threats. Insensitive land use, a reduction in plant species diversity and the use of insecticides have all been linked to declining bee numbers. This is bad news for us and for them.

But you can help…here’s a wonderful illustration, showing you how:


Here’s what we do in our garden…..

We have plants, shrubs and flowers that provide rich nectar throughout the seasons:

  • Michaelmas daisies ‘purple in the border’ (my fav harvest hymn at primary school!)
  • Verbena – they self-seed, so have sprung up in other parts of the garden
  • Lavender – smells and looks beautiful, great for butterflies too
  • Buddleia – we have 2 different varieties in our garden – white and purple – the white one flowered longer than the purple. Both were absolutely covered in butterflies this year
  • Foxgloves – we haven’t got many, we intend to get more for the top bit of our garden. Great for height
  • Chive flowers – absolutely great for bees and of course for cooking! (we use them in new potato salad)
  • Honeysuckle – great for moths too. I love their sweet smell, especially in the evening
  • Berberis – orange flowers literally buzzing with bees in spring, then the blackbirds eat the purple berries
  • Verbenum – this was a gift from the RHS when I was made an Ambassador, we’ve just moved this as it was getting ‘crowded out’ by the buddleia
  • Comfrey – makes a great plant feed, it’s great for bees and Mum’s sore feet
  • Scabiosa – great small flower for insects
  • Rambling rose – the leaf cutter bees really love this – they line their homes with the leaves
  • Phlox – we got a clump from my Grandma’s friend, Meg and it flowers late

Over this past year we’ve taken photos of some of these:

Check out this list from the RHS perfect for pollinators for seasonal flowering plants


Make a home for bees

Our pond, with plenty of surrounding stonework and comfrey too

Bees need a places to live, different bees live in different places – some like to drill into the ground, others build holes in tunnels. This summer mining bees, tried to make their home in the banks of the pond, but it didn’t appear to work as they seemed to disappeared (maybe ‘cos we were working there, maybe ‘cos of ants??).

Mason bees,  really like the cracks in the stonework, where they can make their nests.

The pond provides a place for bees to drink too

in rain or shine the Arne garden looks divine

Of course, if this isn’t possible, you can always build a bug hotel ! I’ve built loads of these at school, scouts and at home over the years. This picture was took at RSPB Arne, where the bees were going crazy in their kitchen garden.

Although our garden is practically a huge bug hotel as there’s pipes and canes everywhere!

 

It’s really important that you don’t use any herbicides or pesticides, as it could potentially kill bees – we don’t and never have.


Other ways I’ve been spreading the message

All year I’ve been handing out ‘Perfect for Pollinator’ seeds from the RHS Campaign for School Gardening at events and school visits, passing on the message of encouraging more wildlife into your garden.

In July, at Operation Farm’s Potluck Festival, I set up a Big Draw to spread the word too


In May I visited the Threave Estate in Dumfries; they had a huge event all about bees. I bought these 3 wildflower mixes.

We’ve never had much success with wildflowers; it could be that the garden slopes, there’s not much sun and other plants crowd them out. We are planning on sorting out an area that might be more suitable


 

I’ve even been known to dress like a bee!!

Have a nosey at the Wild About Gardens website for more information, you can download a ‘bee action kit’ and there’s loads of events taking place across the country too


Protecting all our insects is really important, now more than ever.

My Dad showed me an article in this weekend’s paper that described the decline as an

‘insect Armageddon’.

So, come on folks what are you waiting for, get buzzin’ in your garden and create a home for nature!

About greenfingeredgeorge

First ever RHS Young Ambassador A Gardening Geek and Nature Nerd!
This entry was posted in Gardening, Nature, RHS Ambassador, RHS Campaign for School Gardening, Wildlife, Young Bloggers and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to I’m buzzin’ about my new blog on how to ‘Bee’ #WildAboutGardens

  1. Great work on the blog, you’ve got some important messages there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Claire says:

    George love your blog can’t believe last Gardeners world on Friday. 😞 You will have to keep writing over winter and remind us that Spring will be back soon or I will never make it. Just planted my garlic and Onions and broad beers and cabbages are going in tomorrow. Take care love you loads and see you maybe at weekend when your at Grans xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Claire I know we were shocked when we heard it was the last one. Although I have to say I’m really happy to be watching autumnwatch Mum bought some garlic to plant today yes hope to see you at Grandma x

      Like

  3. John Richard Pendergast says:

    23-10-2017. Hi young George it’s nice to see how your trying to spread the word about BEES in your own way. EXAMPLE isn’t another way to teach, it IS the way to teach, from me John.JRP.

    Like

  4. rachelrummun says:

    I’ve never heard of miner bees. We had mason bees a couple of years ago, buzzin’ in the air brick st the front of the house. The acoustics made it sound like we had a massive bee indoors!
    Need to get some more pollinators, especially as the V boniarensis pretty much disappeared this year (any ideas why?). Great blog, George.

    Like

    • yeah miner bees are a solitary, ground-nesting bee. So your verbena disappeared – that’s strange, my Grandma had to really control hers!! I love verbena – one of my fav
      Thanks for your comments Rachel
      from George

      Like

  5. Excellent blog George – an interesting piece of information is the length of the tongue of the wild bee compared to the honeybee. Some flowers have specific pollinators, i’ve linked an article for you to read https://www.esa.org/esablog/research/for-bees-and-flowers-tongue-size-matters/

    I’ll tweet the link to you in case it doesn’t save on wordpress.

    Like

  6. Joan mycroft says:

    Wow yes so totally agree with you George well done for keeping the bees going I also try very hard to Keep our garden bee friendly, I love watching them for they are always so busy. Yet this week I was watching Chris Peckham program Autumnwatch and they was showing a beautiful bird and it was called a bee eater . Not sure of its real name but it did eat bees maybe you can find out the real name of this bird. Always enjoy your blog. Keep up the good work.

    Like

  7. Pingback: London Calling……. climate change is declared, may the battle come down! | Green Fingered George

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