Bee friendly gardening
Tips for a bee-friendly garden
- Brighten up your garden with some bee-friendly flower seeds - Plant wildflower seeds in your garden, patio pots or window boxes to provide essential nutrition for bees.
Examples of wildflowers that bees find attractive. (*denotes native to UK):
- Annual coreopsis
- Annual scabious
- Bee sage
- Common poppy*
- Corn chamomile*
- Corn marigold*
- Devil's bit scabious*
- Field Woundwort*
- French marigold
- Greater knapweed*
- Lesser snapdragon*
- Meadow clary*
- Mexican hat
- Round-leaved fluellin*
- Sea holly
- Spiked speedwell*
- Sweet William
- Tobacco plant
- Viper's bugloss*
- Whorled clary*
- Wild clary
- allow a patch of grass to grow long and densely plant an area of your flowerbed to provide bees with shelter from the rain or a sudden drop in temperature
- provide water for bees to drink – this can be as simple as a shallow edged dish of water with pebbles in it to help bees climb in and out
- do not keep unwashed honey jars outside the back door. Honeybees may feed on the remaining honey and overseas honey can contain bacteria and spores that are harmful to the bees, which they may then take back to the rest of the colony
- protect swarms – if you see a swarm of bees, contact the local authority or the police, who will contact a local beekeeper to collect the swarm and give it a new home.
- reduce the use of pesticides in your garden – find out more with our list of facts.
Reduce pesticide use in your garden by:
- introducing natural predators – by encouraging natural predators of any specific pest into the area, the pest in question will be controlled. Ladybirds, lacewings, frogs, hedgehogs and birds are all great at limiting numbers of garden pests such as aphids and slugs.
- hand-picking – although time consuming and intensive, removing areas of infestation by hand may be beneficial to the rest of the plot.
- water spraying – spraying with water or with a light soap solution has been used for some time to remove aphids and similar species from plants.
- companion planting – by planting close together with species that attract predatory insects or disguise vulnerable plants, the impact on crop species can be reduced, as pests are less likely to find their food plants.
- deterrents and barriers – many potential garden pests are sensitive to specific features. Slugs, for example, do not like copper piping or the sharp edges of eggshells, so surrounding plants with such materials may keep many species away. Other methods to keep pests away are plastic bottles and straw around the base of plants.
Install a bee box in your garden
You can get 15% off (£8.27 plus p&p, reduced from £9.73 plus p&p) this specially selected bee box as part of Plan Bee.
1. click on the 'buy now' link below
2. on the left-hand side of the page, type in 'coop' and 'pa06' in the two eValue (discount code) boxes and press Continue
3. a message should appear stating that you have successfully entered the discount code. Press continue and you will arrive back on the homepage
4. click on the bee box link in the featured products, or search for 'bee box'
5. this 15% discount is valid for 'Bee Nesting Box with Zinc Roof'
Welcome bees into your garden by getting a bee box. This helps bees to shelter from the rain or from a sudden drop in temperature. Encouraging bees into your garden should also help your garden bloom. As part of Plan Bee, The Co-operative has teamed up with GoneGardening.com to give members a 15% discount on FSC-certified bee boxes – £8.19 (reduced from £9.64, plus p&p). Encouraging native bees into the garden with a bee box should help you garden bloom. This novel bee box is made out of FSC-certified wood, has a metal-pitched roof and is packed with pieces of bamboo that provide the ideal nesting site. NB: The 'solitary' bee species that use these nests won't swarm and don't sting.