How Can I Help The Bees?

Bumble bees on helianthus flower.Bumble bees on helianthus flower.

Most people by now, fully appreciate that bees need help, and increasingly they are asking: What can I do?  How can I help the bees?

Having campaigned for bees since 2008, it’s a huge relief to me that increasingly, so many people are wanting to help these important pollinators. 

Bees (and pollinators generally) are not only vital to the ecosystem and to food production, they are endearing and enchanting creatures in their own right. 

Leafcutter bee visiting geranium flower.Leafcutter bee visiting geranium flower.

How Can I Help The Bees?

Note that when you help the bees, your actions by default, will most probably benefit a whole host of other creatures.  So here are a few pointers:

  • Most importantly, focus on the efforts you yourself can make in your own garden.  Even if you only have a small space, or a few containers, you can still create feeding stations for bees.  Take a look at these resources to get informed about the variety of plants you can add to gardens and planters, and see this general information about creating a bee garden.

    There are so many simple changes that can be made, which are very often overlooked.  For instance, I very much recommend allowing clover to flourish in your lawn (see my page about lawns for bees for more ideas). 

Allow clover to flourish in your lawn, it will help bees and save mowing!

  • Encourage solitary bees, with a solitary bee house.

Make one yourself or purchase one - ensure it's sturdy and durable like this one pictured right which is available from Amazon US and Amazon UK.

A bee house also makes a great gifts for loved ones!

How Can I Help The Bees In My Community?

Ask Your Council To Help Bees

Wool carder bee on lamb's ear.Wool carder bee on lamb's ear.

  • Some tips here.  Public pressure creates change – even if not overnight.  Ask your friends to get involved, and see the ideas on the link provided.

  • You could also get involved with groups (gardening, conservation etc) and suggest a community garden, a ‘bee festival’ to raise awareness, or you could write a few words for a local newsletter. 

    Speak with your local garden centre and ask them to stock more plants for bees, and to banish the use of insecticides such as neonicotinoids, in the cultivation of the plants they sell.  If you have children, encourage your school to actively teach children about the importance of bees and other pollinators, and to perhaps create a pollinator garden.

Lobby The Decision Makers

  • Lobby your local council and politicians to do more to help bees and other pollinators, to cut the use of pesticides in public planting schemes, and support genuinely better farming practices.  

Chocolate mining bees mating.Chocolate mining bees mating.

Encourage Others To Help

Honey bee on Japanese anemone.Honey bee on Japanese anemone.

Inspire the next generation

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A few more thoughts....

Try to support organic if you can.  Why?  Because buying organic helps to support farming practice that is better for the environment, and at least ensures that particularly controversial pesticides that are toxic for bees, such as neonicotinoids, have not been used. 

Even if you are on a limited budget it may be possible to purchase just one or two things, at least it supports those farmers a little.  

Better still, grow at least some of your own food if you can – even just a few items in pots!  And do spread this excellent information from the Rodale Institute about the performance of organic agriculture versus intensive methods.  Nowadays, there are even people growing cut flowers on a small scale, and organically. 
See my page about going organic.

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