HOW CAN I HELP BEES?
Simple – plant pots of bee friendly plants to provide pollen and nectar for bees. Everyone can do this – even if you don’t have a garden, a pot or two on a balcony or doorstep can make all the difference. Bees need forage from the moment they emerge from hibernation in the spring all the way through to the end of autumn, so the more pots you can plant, and throughout the season, the better for the bees.
Planting pots of bee friendly plants, or sowing some bee friendly seeds in your borders is a really easy way of providing bees with the food they need to stay healthy. The more you plant, the happier the bees will be.
1. Check there is a drainage hole at the base of the pot. Place crocks or old packaging material at the base of the pot to provide free drainage for the plants.
2. Fill 2/3 of the pot with compost. Consider using peat-free compost to help protect the environment.
3. Choose plants of different heights to give interest to the display. It’s worth soaking the plants in water for 10 minutes before planting to give the best start.
4. Place plants on top of the compost and then fill around the plants with compost, firming with your hands to avoid air spaces.
5. Give all the plants a really good watering.
Remember – Water and feed the container regularly and never let the container dry out. Consider installing an automatic watering system to keep your plants healthy whether you are home or away.
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO?
STEP 1 Cut garden canes carefully into 20cm lengths. Bundle the lengths together tightly.
STEP 2 Using garden twine, securely tie the bundle a couple of times down the length.
STEP 3 Place the bee hotel under foliage in your container, to provide a safe haven for bees and other pollinating insects.
WATERING FOR WELL-BEEING
Now that you’ve planted your pots, they will need to be watered to keep them healthy.
Water carefully – not too much or too little. Lack of water means less pollen and poor nectar quality for bees.
Get off to a good start – water plants before potting them. Water the pots and let them drain. A hole in the base of the pot is essential to give good drainage.
Use an adjustable spray gun – water carefully and regularly.
Set up an automatic watering system – for a worry-free holiday.
In a small garden or balcony – keep a neat hose handy so you can water your plant if the pot is drying out.
GET INTO GREEN WITH NATURAL GARDENING
Today’s gardeners are reaching less for chemicals and more for organic & natural solutions to create their green gardens, and bees will thank them for it!
- Bees love Comfrey & it’s easy to grow in your garden. It also makes great organic feed by using Hozelock BioMix.
- Lavender is lovely, and bees enjoy it too. They use their stems to make a natural aphid controller that will help repel ants from your pots.
- Use organic soap solutions to control whitefly and aphids. Apply using a Hozelock Pure Sprayer, which reaches all surfaces of the plant.