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Bees and pollinators

The unsung heroes of our green spaces

Bees and pollinators are essential in biodiversity and fighting climate change. So are weeds and wildflowers.

The top threats to bees are loss of habitat, pesticides and the varroa mite. As the UK loses more and more of its green spaces, we must do more to save our bees, pollinators and nature corridors.

What is so special about bees?

Nearly all of the world’s seed plants need to be pollinated. Three-quarters of food crops depend on pollinators like bees. Without them, we wouldn’t have foods like potatoes, strawberries, tomatoes or coffee.

Bees are essential for:

  • Pollination
  • Food crops. 76% of globally important commercial crops depend on insect pollination: 1 in 3 mouthfuls of food! Insect pollination is worth £690 million to UK crops each year.
  • Apitherapy where bee products are used in medicine and healing.
  • Apitourism. A travel concept that combines bees and beekeeping with memorable journeys for the whole family to enjoy.
Bee with wings spread on lavender plant

How to encourage more bees and pollinators to your green space

There are a few simple things you can do.

Re-wild a patch of your garden, or all of it, to let grow wildflowers and weeds grow.

Join No Mow May – a month-long initiative where you do not cut or mow your grass. Even better if you start this earlier and let the earliest wildflowers and Dandelions flower. This provides nutrition for all pollinators after winter.

Add a small, shallow tray filled with pebbles and water to your garden or wildflower patch. Pollinators like bees, can drink without the risk of drowning.

Plant and grow wildflowers wherever you can. In pots on windowsills, verges or in your own garden.

Tell your council you would like wildflower public spaces in parks, or nature-friendly verges and roundabouts.

No Mow May graphic with lawnmower behind a daisy

What to plant for bees

The following weeds, wildflowers, herbs and plants are especially great for bees:

  • Early flowering weeds – especially Dandelions
  • Basil
  • Bronze Fennel
  • Chamomile
  • Chive Flowers
  • Fennel
  • Green Coriander Seed
  • Lavender
  • Lemon Balm
  • Lemon Thyme
  • Mint
  • Buddleia (often called the Butterfly Bush)
  • Evergreen Clematis
  • Foxglove
  • Poppy
  • Lavender
  • Teasel
Infographic from WWF with UK bee spieces

Image from WWF.

There are over 20,000 species of bees. Not all live in hives. Another reason we have to plant more suitable flowers and let weeds thrive too!

We love this simple guide to wildflowers from the Bumblebee Trust.

Crochet post box topper highlighting the importance of biodiversity

Spotted the Post Box topper in The Glades?

Made by participants in our regular Knitting and Crochet group, held every Monday, 12noon – 2pm. Free to join in and a skilled teacher is available to help you get started, figure out a pattern or just general chat.

For more of our events and details of where to find us, visit

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