Bees are important pollinators and vital to growing food and thus to our survival. They also pollinate trees and plants which provide food and shelter for other wildlife.
Habitat loss due to urbanisation, the converting of land for agricultural and increased use of pesticides all threaten our local bee population and have lead to a global decline in wild bees. Moreover, the effects of the climate crisis and the associated extreme weather patterns put an increasingly big strain on our bees.
Aside of providing crucial food sources for bees in forms of wildflowers (see our post here) another great way to support your local bees is to create homes for them in your garden. You’ve probably seen bee or insect hotels for purchase at your local garden centre but you can just as easily build these homes yourself!
While honeybees and bumblebees form and live in colonies, most of our native bees are actually solitary. A bee hotel can provide shelter and a nesting space for female solitary bees.
Or you can follow the instructions of the Kent Wildlife Trust and build your own bee hotel!
This illustrated guide by the Bumblebee Conservation Trust guides you through the process of making a bumblebee nest using a terracotta flower pot!
Bee hotel in a tin can / photo via Huffington post https://www.huffpost.com/archive/ca/entry/bee-our-guest-how-to-build-a-bee-hotel_a_23189810. Bee hotel in a milk carton / photo via Edmonton & Area Land Trust https://www.ealt.ca/kids-blog/build-a-milk-carton-bee-hotel. Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash. Illustration by the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.