Logo

Buzzing about bees: everything you need to know about the RHS’s new bee campaign

PUBLISHED: 09:00 16 April 2017

Buff tailed bumble bee

Buff tailed bumble bee

Archant

The RHS is collaborating with The Wildlife Trusts to bring wildlife enthusiasts new inspiration to protect our black and yellow friends

A leafcutter bee on a flower A leafcutter bee on a flower

It’s amazing the numbers of bees spotted on sunny days over the past couple of weeks, buzzing around the fragrant zingy yellow mahonia and purple heather in the garden.

It seems like a good omen for Bee Creative In The Garden!, a new campaign launched by the RHS in collaboration with The Wildlife Trusts to urge gardeners to help protect bees.

The campaign, which culminates in Wild About Gardens Week from Oct 23-29, featuring activities focused on how to help bees survive the winter ahead, comes as bees are under pressure 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 confined to rural areas. While the honeybee is an excellent pollinator, the charities are focusing on the equally valuable wild bees, including bumblebees and solitary bees.

Gardeners can download a wild bee-friendly gardening guide, and wildlife events and a ‘Bee Creative’ photo competition are running to November 1 as part of the campaign.

Other charities are also joining the drive to help bees. Friends of the Earth is running The Great British Bee Count, now in its fourth year, from May 19-June 30, which invites the public to download a free app to help identify bees and learn more about them.

The bee sightings will be mapped on greatbritishbeecount.co.uk and shared on the National Biodiversity Network, where researchers, experts and local authorities can access the data.

Ellie Brodie, senior policy manager of The Wildlife Trusts, says: “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 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.

So, what can we do?

Boost your bee-friendly plant stock

Grow more flowers, shrubs and trees that provide nectar and pollen as food for bees and other pollinators throughout the year - pussy willow, primroses and crocuses in spring, lavenders, meadow cranesbill and ox-eye daisies in summer, ivy and hebes in autumn and mahonia and cyclamen in winter. As a general guide, bees see purple and blue better than other colours and will use their senses to find other colours such as white apple blossom. Different bee species prefer different flower shapes, so aim for a range from tubular-shaped flowers like snapdragons and wallflowers, to open-headed flowers like yarrow and verbena.

Let it grow wild

Leave patches of land to grow wild with plants like stinging nettles and dandelions to provide other food sources (such as leaves for caterpillars) and breeding places for butterflies and moths. Take simple actions to manage your existing land, green spaces and gardens to provide food sources and/or breeding places for pollinators.

Cut grass less often

Native flowering plants in grass areas, field corners, verges and specially sown flower-rich habitats support the greatest diversity of insect pollinators by providing nectar and pollen resources, places to nest or breed, and leaves for caterpillars.

Do not disturb

Avoid disturbing or destroying nesting or hibernating insects in places like grass margins, bare soil, hedgerows, trees, dead wood or walls. Pollinators need to nest in safety so that they and the next generation can survive winter, to start again in the following spring.

Pesticides?

Try to avoid using them. Many people avoid chemicals and adopt methods like physically removing pests or using barriers to deter them. Try to encourage natural predators like beetles.

Build a pond

Dig a garden pond to act as a drinking spot and help biodiversity. Ponds are a magnet for beneficial insects and other wildlife.

Help tired bees

If you find a tired bumblebee, mix sugar with water, place on a teaspoon and leave it in front of the bee, to act as a quick energy supplement.

The wild bee friendly gardening guide can be downloaded at www.wildaboutgardensweek.org.uk. For details of bee-friendly plants, visit rhs.org.uk

Register to take part in this year’s Great British Bee Count at greatbritishbeecount.co.uk

Property search


e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Other Hampstead and Highgate property news

How to make a bird’s home a happy one

Planning to do your bit for National Nest Box Week? Experts

offer 9 tips to make sure you get the best nest boxes.

Looking for help to get on the ladder? Head to the First Time Buyer Home Show in Stratford for advice on schemes, developments and mortgages

Help is at hand for first-time buyers looking to buy their first home in London

The mortgage time bomb: What interest-only borrowers need to know

Did you know that some home owners could be at risk of losing their property for good - because they’ve ignored correspondence from their lender about how they plan to eventually clear their mortgage debt?

Home of the Week: Apartment in Phillipe Starck designed development

A stunning duplex apartment in The Yoo Building in St. John’s Wood.

How to revamp your bathroom by re-grouting tired tiles

Fancy tackling the job yourself? Follow Chloe Kent’s step-by-step guide.

Gardening: 5 ways to suceed with conifers

Conifers may have a reputation for being boring, but they add valuable colour and structure in winter. An expert offers five growing tips.

Home of the Week: Iconic house in Primrose Hill

This iconic Primrose Hill home, formerly known as The Rocking Horse House, has been beautifully remodelled.

Three great properties to buy in Dartmouth Park

Properties such as semi-detached and terraced Victorian houses with large gardens characterise Dartmouth Park’s streets

Dartmouth Park area guide: pubs, schools and family homes

Your guide to all the things to do in Dartmouth Park, including the best restaurants, pubs, schools and cultural activities in this corner of NW5. PLUS our guide to property in the area

Three great properties to buy in Hornsey

If you’re looking to move into or around the area, here are some ideas

Hornsey area guide: pubs, schools and family homes

Your guide to all the things to do in Hornsey, including the best restaurants, shops, pubs, schools and local history. PLUS our guide to property in the area.

Home of the Week: New build in Hampstead with panoramic views

Newly built property in Hampstead boasts 42ft entertaining room and its own roof terrace

5 issues landlords should consider in 2018

2017 saw a number of changes made to regulations governing the private rented sector and a record number of government consultations held in relation to letting in the UK, meaning there is plenty for landlords to consider and act upon in the new year.

Three great properties for sale in Little Venice

Grand stucco-fronted houses and large Georgian and Victorian brick constructions line the wide streets of Little Venice, whilst charming mews houses can be found on the cobbled street of Bristol Gardens. For the ultimate canalside location nothing can beat a narrow boat.

Little Venice area guide: Canalside lifestyle, cafés and bars, shopping, property and more

Your guide to all the things to do in Little Venice, including the best restaurants, shops, pubs, schools and things to do by the canal. PLUS our guide to property in the area

New two and three-bedroom homes in Hampstead reflect Arts and Craft architecture of area

Thirty nine new two and three-bedroom homes, influenced by the Arts and Crafts architecture of the area, have been launched in Hampstead.

Comment: How to set the asking price for your property

Simon Gerrard, MD of north London estate agents, Martyn Gerrard, offers advice on pricing your house to achieve the best possible result

What you should know about inheriting property

There’s much to consider when inheriting property, writes Fiona Brandhorst

Camden area guide: Market, food & drink, entertainment, property and more

Your guide to all the things to do in Camden Town, including the best restaurants, shops, pubs, live music venues and Camden Lock Market. PLUS our guide to property in the area

Home of the week: Regency villa in picturesque Downshire Hill

Situated on the prized and picturesque Downshire Hill, this early 19th century Grade II-listed Regency villa is on the preferred south side of the road.

Comment: They call me the House Whisperer

Trevor Abrahmsohn, managing director of north London agents, Glentree Estates, writes about his special skills for closing a deal, which, he says, include “psychotherapy, extreme cajoling and applied salesmanship”. We’re intrigued...

How best to clear your unwanted junk

Richard Burr reveals how to clear your clutter.

Do it yourself! Great short and part-time courses in DIY, interior design, carpentry and more

With a whole new year stretching ahead of you, instead of making resolutions and not sticking to them, why not pick a fresh interest which will not only hold your attention, stimulate your creativity and keep your mind active, but improve your home, too.

What’s in store for the housing market in 2018 and how it will affect house prices, mortgages and first-time buyers

If you’re considering whether to move home this year, Ella Walker looks at potentially the main influences on house prices in London and further afield, and how they may affect buying and selling.

10 gardening trends set to blossom in 2018

These are the themes and plants predicted to dominate in the coming 12 months, writes Hannah Stephenson.

How to brick up a window like a pro

Being a brickie isn’t easy. Richard Burr reveals how to master the moves.

It’s time to get your home back in order after the festive season, but where do you dispose of your Christmas tree? We offer 3 recycling tips.

Festive season is in full flow, but soon it will be time to think about ditching the decorations and making more space for your home once again. But how should you dispose of your tree?

Comment: Stamp duty rises may be hitting more than just the property market

Are the stamp duty hikes doing more harm to the UK economy than just strangling the residential property market, asks Glentree Estates director Trevor Abrahmsohn

Landlord offers two-bedroom flat in King’s Cross to homeless for free over Christmas

Laurence Lameche, who now runs a property business but was formerly homeless himself, is looking for a single person, couple or family in need of somewhere to stay during the festive period

For sale: Highgate Mansion formerly home to Nobel Prize winner

An exceptionally restored Victorian mansion that was formerly home to a Nobel Prize winner is now on the market on Bishopswood Road, Highgate.

Most Read

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

2018 © Archant Community Media Ltd

Terms and conditions | Cookie policy | Jobs at Archant