Follow our progress as beekeepers, running the nursery, creating our own bee-haven and conducting research into the best plants for bees

How bee-friendly is your garden?

Click here for a PDF to print to give your garden a score. I have developed an easy audit process that takes about 10 minutes for most gardens. Try this and see how you get on.  This audit works for all sizes of gardens and gives you an indication of the extent to which, whatever area you have, is geared for pollinators.

I am also starting a database of gardens I visit and if you email me your results I will add them in.

Step 1: Pick a calm and sunny day between May and September and go out into your garden sometime between 11am and 3pm (keep and note of the day, time and weather as these are all factors)

Step 2: Assess how much of your garden is planted with flowering plants, shrubs, treees? For most of us with traditional areas of grass and paving, the area taken by borders and pots is normally only about 10 to 20 %. But you might have a design where the garden area is mainly planted.

Step 3: Assess how much of the flowering areas of your garden is in direct sun ie not shaded by fences or trees - remember to look up and include any trees that in flower. This might be easiest to do in sections then take an average. If you are doing different areas of a garden its easier to do a seperate audit for each area.  For a standard back garden this might end up as; half of that border, only a bit of the other border, but all of the pots on the terrace roughly averages to 40% of the planted are and 3 out of 4 tree tops.

Step 4: walk slowly round the sunny areas until you find any signs of buzzing activity, keep an note of where that activity was and keep moving slowly round. Now estimate what proportion of the flowering area was attracting bees or insects of any kind. You may identify 4 or 5 specific plants or 1 or 2 patches then stepping back and consider how many flowers do not appear to have any insects. Again, give this all a rough %.