tips for gardeners

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Gardens are a really important resource for all pollinating insects since it is estimated that 94% of the lowland meadows that would have been a prime habitat, has been lost to agriculture . Therefore bees food supply has to be sources elsewhere. Gardens make up about 10% of the UK land mass so its important to make the most of a valuable pollen and nectar resource.   Flowers can be selected for so much more than just being aesthetically pleasing yet, sadly many plants have been carefully bred for pure appearance often making them sterile or their nectar inaccessible.

If you are wandering round a garden center it is very difficult to know which plants are best for bees but if you observe your garden on any mild sunny day you can quickly tell if you have the right plants because the bees will be there; if they are not,  then you probably have either a very shady spot or the wrong plants.

Here are the key steps to making your garden more bee-friendly:

  1. Check how bee-friendly your garden already is by observing how many of the plants, in flower, are/are not attracting bees
  2. Work out how to fill every sunny space with as much flower as possible, including trees, shrubs and climbers
  3. Choose plants that flower for as long as possible to maximise the bee-value of each space; use our research section to help you choose
  4. Plant in bold blocks of the same plants to make it more efficient for bees to forage

For more information:

  • Our plants section includes all the plants we recommend for bees that are also great in a garden
  • Under 'information for gardeners' you will also find a 'common questions' section and we add more information all the time.
  • In Research we give our findings on different plants and how attractive they are to bees