The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and The Wildlife Trusts have joined forces to urge gardeners to do more to help protect bumblebees and solitary bees, heroes of the pollinator world.
The Bee Creative in the Garden! call comes as bees are under increasing pressure largely due to loss of habitat. In the countryside, 97% of lowland meadow has already been lost and the dramatic decrease in suitable habitats isn’t just confined to rural areas.
The network of 15 million gardens that once formed ‘green corridors’ for wildlife are disappearing at an alarming rate. In London alone, vegetated garden land the size of 2.5 Hyde Parks is lost each year*. The number of front gardens that have been paved over has tripled in a decade and over five million have no plants growing at all.
The charities will be arming gardeners with the advice, insights and inspiration they need to create habitats that support wild bees as they emerge from their nests in early spring to forage for food.
Gardeners will be able to download a wild bee-friendly gardening guide. Wildlife events and a ‘Bee Creative’ photo competition will also be taking place from 1 April to 1 November 2017 as bees buzz during the gardener’s growing season and then look for nesting sites in autumn.
Bee Creative in the Garden! is this year’s Wild About Gardens campaign – a joint initiative to encourage gardeners to create wildlife havens for the many, once-common, native species.
Helen Bostock, Senior Horticultural Advisor at the RHS said: “A healthy garden is buzzing with bees and other pollinators. By providing nesting sites and growing nectar and pollen rich flowers gardeners can and do support a wide variety of bumblebee and solitary bees.”