In Springtime much comes back to life or ‘awakens’, including glorious bees.
Flowers need bees to pollinate, and bees need flowers for food. It’s a glorious partnership between the two, so the more bees you welcome, the more beautiful your garden.
Old fruit trees are a great source of sustenance for bees in spring. Their pollen-rich blossom provides a bounty of fresh nectar to kick-start their busy start to the year. These trees will also give bees a place for refuge in the bark crevices.
Provide an abundance of nectar-rich plants to keep your buzzy friends well-fed and happy. Plan for as many spring flowers as possible to tempt awakening bees such as bluebells, daffodils, forget-me-nots, rosemary, viburnum and bugle. Purple flowers, in particular, are a bee favourite as they can see them the best – purple will draw them in, and they’ll find the rest of your colourful blooms. Try and create year-long flower opportunities for bee winter-workers and Queens.
Bee hotels are more and more commonplace in the avid gardener’s outdoor space. Providing a home for differing species of bees to nest in, they are the perfect way to keep bees in your garden. If you create the right habitat, most common species will take residence here. Bee’s aren’t fussy when it comes to looks, so long as it’s dry year-round and in full sun. Check out Gardeners’ World for their nine bee hotel ideas.
Create a mini-meadow
If you have space, even just for a small corner or patch of your garden, a mini-meadow can be a beautiful addition to your outside area. March/April is the ideal time to prepare and sow your mini meadow – take a look at the RHS guide to growing one. It won’t just be bees thanking you for a mini wildflower meadow – butterflies and all sorts of wildlife will be your new best friend.