With Summer well and truly here for most of the UK, it’s easy to see the effect the lack of rain has had on our gardens and much of the British Countryside. Although the heat is welcomed by most, the lack of the rain has considerably slowed down the rate in which our grass and flowers are growing.
This may mean you are cutting the grass less, but it also means flowers and plants (especially the wildflowers in hedgerows) are dying off resulting in our adorable bees being unable to source food for themselves and are unable to pollinate. More normally blooming garden is currently several hues of yellow and green, not particularly appealing for bees!
HoneyBees work super hard collecting nectar from flowers to make delicious honey. When the hardworking worker bees land on a flower, a little bit of pollen sticks to their feet. Pollen falls off of their tootsies as they fly about, and when this pollen lands on another flower, pollination occurs, which means the plants reproduce. BumbleBees help in exactly the same way but obviously don’t make honey.
Without the plants and flowers surviving, our bees cannot carry out their daily jobs and as a result numbers are in decline. It isn’t just the dry weather contributing to the reduction in our bees – the loss of their habitat is the biggest factor. So many fields are being turned into housing estates and roadside verges being cut fortnightly are all contributing factors to the decline in our bee population.
(Above Photo Courtesy of Plantlife, Below Photo Courtesy of Habitat Aid)
Two species of bumblebee have sadly already become extinct in the UK: Cullum’s bumblebee (Bombus cullumanus) last seen on the Berkshire Downs in 1941, and the Short-haired bumblebee (Bombus subterraneus), last seen at Dungeness in 1988 and officially declared extinct in 2000 (Bumblebee Conservation Trust 2018).
So what can we do to help our yellow and black friends? Even if you aren’t a keen gardener and your green fingers have seen better days you can still create a haven for the bees in your garden, windowsill planter or even the roof of a houseboat!
Whilst researching what plants and flowers bees really love, I stumbled across a fabulous idea called a Bee Bomb! These bundles of wonderfulness are made in Dorset and contain a mixture of 18 seeds, soil and clay that will produce your own little wildflower meadow to Bring the Bees Back!
Check back soon to see my own Beebombs in action and bee (yes pun intended) in with the chance of winning your own Beebomb by following us on Facebook & Instagram!