Decreasing numbers of bumble bees is a topic that’s can't be ignored. While there is written plenty of articles on the topic, not enough people seem to know what they can do to support these much-loved pollinators. There are so many ways you can help support the bumble bees and other pollinators in your local area — and it doesn’t have to be a lot of work or involve buying expensive gardening kits or exotic plants. Here are five simple tips on how you can support the bumble bees in your garden:
1. Plant native flowers in your garden
A lot of exotic plants grown for gardens and floral decoration aren’t native to the UK or Europe. This means that they don’t support the wild pollinators, since they don’t have the right kind of flowers. Native plants have flowers that support the pollinators that are native to the UK. Native plants are often more robust and grow way more sustainably in our climate than some of the exotic plants, so they’re much better for the environment too.
Bumble bees love wildflowers that bloom in spring and summer such as poppies, primroses and wild garlic.
They also really enjoy the nectar of dandelions, so if you have a lawn, you could create a patch of Dandelions and make it more friendly for bumble bees and other insects.
Also, add some later flowering plants such as different kind of Heathers and Goldenrods.
2. Be careful where you use pesticides in your garden or outside area
The concerns about the use of pesticides on farms we already know for many years, not only because they can be harmful to the environment, but also because they can affect pollinators such as bees. It’s important to remember that large numbers of our food crops are pollinated by bees and that the demise of our pollinators has been called “one of the world’s most pressing environmental problems”. Reduce the use of chemical pesticides and choose biological ways.
3. Let some areas of your garden go wild for the bees
Nettles, docks, and thistles are bumble bees' favourite bedrocks. Why not have a wild and disorderly portion of your garden? This will help to produce a habitat with high biodiversity and offer pollinators with nectar. A meadow may be created in a large garden if you wish, providing numerous distinct habitats for bees, birds, and bugs. You don't have to keep your landscaping spotless and artfully manicured all the time. Bees are just as important in an unkempt garden as they are in a smoothly manicured one, so don’t feel you have to constantly be trimming and tidying up.
4. Don’t mow when the grass is flowering in your back yard
If you mow your lawn when it's in bloom, you're probably destroying a lot of pollinators. You might want a wild and colourful lawn, but you should avoid cutting it down. If you want to keep your lawn neat, avoid mowing when the flowers are out. Leaving certain areas of the lawn untended may benefit bees and other pollinators as well as yourself. If you've got a grassy area that isn't being used, let it grow wild and plant some flowers in it. This can really help bring some life into an otherwise slightly boring space.
5. Simply be aware of what’s around you and enjoy it!
It is crucial to recognise and appreciate bees and other pollinators when you are out and about. Not only will this help you to learn more about them, but you will also be able to appreciate their beauty and the effort they put in better. It is simple to appreciate these creatures when you're in your garden, but keep an eye out for them in other places too. If you see a bee or other pollinator, attempt to notice it and appreciate it as much as you can!