By Millie Hurst
You might already have some lovely fragrant lavender borders in your garden, or perhaps a window box, but there are plenty of alternative ways to invite bees into your garden – from embracing weeds to including lots of bee-friendly plants in your planting scheme.
For World Bee Day 2021, two beekeepers share some easy ways to support your local bees. After all, you can't beat a beautiful garden gently humming with wildlife.
Beekeepers Julie and Neve from Neve's Bees have transformed five acres of their garden at their West Oxfordshire home into a traditional wildflower meadow. Using green hay from a neighbor's ancient meadow, they made a home for around half a million bees.
Their first tip for encouraging bees is to dedicate a patch of your garden to wildflowers. If there's a corner of your lawn that's already looking a little wild, scatter some wildflower seeds and leave them to grow into a source of nutrition for bees.
This will provide bees with a welcome pitstop. 'Bees, butterflies and other pollinators can only fly relatively short distances so need regular patches of flowers,' says Julie.
'Even little mini-meadows can make a big difference.' Head to our guide on how to plant a wildflower meadow to find out more.
It’s also possible to harvest your own seeds from cutting and drying this year's flower heads once they’ve gone over. If one of your gardening goals is to ensure your garden works with and not against nature, our wildlife garden ideas piece is full of tips.
Neve and Julie also tell us to rethink ‘weeds’, since dandelions and daisies are a rich source of food for bees. 'It incenses me when I see adverts for weed killer,' Julie admits.
If you don't have a garden, you can still sow wildflower seeds in your window box ideas and observe the hub of nature you've created as wildlife comes to visit your window.
You could also work with your local parish or town council to leave some of your verges or local community spaces to grow back flowers rather than cut them all down.
Read: The Wildlife Trusts' 30-day wildness challenge is back for 2021 - here's how to take part
Our favorite method is to gift seed bombs or wildflower seed packets to friends and family. It's brilliant as one of your garden activities for kids as children will particularly love scattering them and discovering the different wildflowers and bugs out in the garden. Happy World Bee Day!
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