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Bee creative in the garden!

Monday 27th March 2017

Buff-tailed bumblebee. Photo: Jon Hawkins/Surrey Hills PhotographyBuff-tailed bumblebee. Photo: Jon Hawkins/Surrey Hills Photography

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and The Wildlife Trusts have joined forces to urge gardeners to do more to help protect bumblebees and solitary bees, heroes of the pollinator world.

The Bee Creative in the Garden! call comes as bees are under increasing pressure largely due to loss of habitat. In the countryside, 97% of lowland meadow has already been lost and the dramatic decrease in suitable habitats isn’t just confined to rural areas.

The network of 15 million gardens that once formed ‘green corridors’ for wildlife are disappearing at an alarming rate. In London alone, vegetated garden land the size of 2.5 Hyde Parks is lost each year*. The number of front gardens that have been paved over has tripled in a decade and over five million have no plants growing at all.

The charities will be arming gardeners with the advice, insights and inspiration they need to create habitats that support wild bees as they emerge from their nests in early spring to forage for food.

Gardeners will be able to download a wild bee-friendly gardening guide. Wildlife events and a ‘Bee Creative’ photo competition will also be taking place from 1 April to 1 November 2017 as bees buzz during the gardener’s growing season and then look for nesting sites in autumn.

Bee Creative in the Garden! is this year’s Wild About Gardens campaign – a joint initiative to encourage gardeners to create wildlife havens for the many, once-common, native species.

David Harpley, Conservation Manager at Cumbria Wildlife Trust, said: “Anyone can take action to help wild bees, whether you have a wall for vertical planting, window box, or back garden. It’s easy to plant a bee haven and fun choosing between bee-friendly beauties such as borage, foxglove and honeysuckle.”

The wild bee-friendly gardening guide, ‘Get your garden buzzing for bees’, is free to download and contains lots of facts about the different species of wild bee, their lifecycles and how they nest, as well as practical steps gardeners can take to help them. It is available to download here or click on the PDF below.

Enter the Bee Creative photo competition! Gardeners, gardening groups and schools are encouraged to share how they’ve welcomed wild bees into their gardens by posting a picture on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram – using the hashtag #wildaboutgardens and the category being entered – of their bee-friendly area, whether that be a tailor-made bee home, a flower-packed border or a wall that bees have made their own.

A list of the wildlife gardening events taking place around the country can be found here – please note that more will be added as the season progresses.

The Bee Creative in the Garden! campaign will culminate in Wild About Gardens Week which will run from 23 - 29 October. This will be a fun-filled week of special activities focused on how to help bees survive the winter ahead.
 

Downloads

FilenameFile size
wild_bee_action_pack.pdf4.32 MB