In the next few weeks some beehives will be being installed on community land in our village. It’s a project which everyone is feeling excited about. They’ll be more bees in the local area pollinating the plants and the chance for people to buy locally sourced honey. At a time when the decline of bees is grabbing headlines, it feels like we are doing a small bit to help.
When we first moved here I toyed with the idea of having a hive in our own garden, but I was put off by the investment and work involved and (lets be honest) the potential of being stung too! However I have discovered that there is a small way we can play a part by providing a home for solitary bees.
What are solitary bees? When I first heard about them I thought they might be sad dejected insects which had been cast out by their colony, but no, they are a different species to honey bees and there are nearly 200 varieties of them. They still pollinate plants, but they don’t sting and because they live on their own and don’t produce honey, they don’t need to be managed.
In the wild solitary bees make nests in old trees, but like birds you can encourage them into your garden by providing them with a ready made home. Our lovely yellow Bee House was given to us by Flamingo Gifts and they have given me another to giveaway to one lucky reader (see below)
The first solitary bees will appear in the garden as early as next month which means this is the perfect time of the year to create a home for them. Bees like warmth and shelter, so it is recommended you hang the Bee House in a south-facing spot on a wall. Our southerly aspect faces the sea and gets a bit of a hammering in bad weather, so we decided to tuck our bee house under our veranda on the east side of the house.
Learning about bees has been a lovely project for Theo and a great way of learning about the environment. If you have older kids you could also give them a compass and ask them to find a good spot in the garden that faces south
If you’d like to have a Bee House of your own you can enter the giveaway below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Prize is one Bee House, it will be delivered within 28 days of competition close. Open to UK addresses only. No cash alternative. If the winner does not respond to their winning email to claim the prize within 7 days, a new winner may be drawn.