Bees' Needs News

13th July - Pollinator Awareness Week has begun. Click here!

5 Simple Actions for Pollinators

There's a little something that everybody can do for pollinators. Read below about five simple actions you can take.

1. Grow more flowers, shrubs & trees

Grow more flowers, shrubs and trees that provide nectar and pollen as food for bees and other pollinators throughout the year. For example, pussy willow, primroses and crocuses in spring, lavenders, meadow cranesbill and ox-eye daisies in summer, ivy and hebes in autumn, and mahonia shrubs and cyclamen in winter.

We just need more plants rich in pollen and nectar in our gardens, balconies, allotments, farms, and in the landscape around our homes and across our towns and cities.

 

2. Let it grow wild

Leave patches of land to grow wild with plants like stinging nettles and dandelions to provide other food sources (such as leaves for caterpillars) and breeding places for butterflies and moths.

As land managers and gardeners, you can take simple actions to manage your existing land, green spaces and gardens to provide food sources and/or breeding places for pollinators. Have a look what you can do today.

3. Cut grass less often

Cut grass less often and ideally remove the cuttings to allow plants to flower.

Native flowering plants in grass areas, field corners, verges and specially sown flower-rich habitats support the greatest diversity of insect pollinators by providing nectar and pollen resources, places to nest or breed and leaves for caterpillars. Hence it’s important to get the management right.

4. Don't disturb insect nests and hibernation spots

Avoid disturbing or destroying nesting or hibernating insects, in places like grass margins, bare soil, hedgerows, trees, dead wood or walls.

As well as making sure there are adequate food resources throughout the year for insect pollinators, it is also important to make sure they can nest in safety so that they and the next generation can survive overwinter, to start again in the following spring.

5. Think carefully about whether to use pesticides

Think carefully about whether to use pesticides especially where pollinators are active or nesting or where plants are in flower. Consider control methods appropriate to your situation and only use pesticides if absolutely necessary. Many people choose to avoid chemicals and adopt methods like physically removing pests or using barriers to deter them. If you choose to use a pesticide, always follow the label instructions.