Helping home the Solitary Bee

A bee pollinating a chive plant

Our Beepalace has recently become fully occupied, meaning we will be adding to our collection. The Beepalace is the ideal place for the solitary bee, providing several spaces for nesting, the bees can nest year on year to lay their eggs and pollinate our flowers, fruit and veg! The Beepalace comes in a variety of colours and can easily be fitted to the wall. We look forward to welcoming Beepalace to our Home and Garden day on the 17th September; we're giving you the excuse to browse and shop to find the perfect additions to your garden.

 

We also love Bee Bricks by Green and Blue. After proving popular again at RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year, you will also be able to find them on our stand at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. The bricks are inspired by the natural way the bees nest, making the perfect hotel for the solitary bee. The bricks can be used in place of a standard brick during construction, for example your greenhouse or conservatory base, or use them as a standalone feature in your garden. They are best when placed in warm sunny spots, facing South East or South West, without foliage in front.

With around 200 species of the solitary bee, they are the largest contributor in pollinating our crops. The solitary bee is harmless, the males have no sting and the females rarely use theirs, only when trodden on or handled roughly. With no queen or honey to protect, the bees are non-aggressive, meaning they are safe to be around children and pets.

The solitary bee emerges in spring-time, ready for the freshly blossoming flowers and plants. They tend to live alone but nest close to one another. This means that Bee Bricks and Beepalaces are the perfect home whilst allowing the bees to spread themselves amongst the cavities. One female bee will use around five to six cavities, laying up to seven eggs in each one. They are also the perfect way to provide a new habitat for the bee.

Due to unfortunate developments within farming methods and the number of wildflower meadows decreasing, there are less suitable environments for bees to nest. Once you have your 'hotel' for your bees, be sure to plant a variety of herbs, fruit, vegetables and flowers nearby. This will provide the bee with an enjoyable environment that will flourish and grow with the bees help. We tend to place ours near our greenhouses and the allotment, filled with plants they love, the bees then help our garden to grow.

 

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