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WHAT YOU CAN DO… FOR BEES
hedge-of-climbers-on-fence

‘Hedge’ of climbers on fence between gardens

Hedge of climbers between gardens 2002

Hedge of climbers between gardens 2002

The boundaries we put up between our properties – walls, fences and hedges – are not barriers to pollinators.

 

A bee or other winged creature visiting flowers on one side of a fence will fly over it to visit flowers in the next garden.

 

But when that garden is concrete, or its flowers have no pollen or nectar, pollinators have no reason to visit.

 

BEES ARE IN TROUBLE

 

Best Honeybee on Hardy Geranium 'Wargrave Pink'Honeybee on Alkanet closeup

Honeybees, our most important pollinators, are in trouble. Beekeepers are dealing with ‘colony collapse disorder’ and a parasite, the varroa mite. Chemical pesticides used in gardens and countryside leave honeybees disoriented, unable to remember where they are & forgetting the way back to their hives. Bumblebees too are in trouble, with numbers declining.

If plants in our gardens or windowboxes attracted honeybees, bumblebees and other pollinators, drawing them along a virtual river of wildflowers (see Bees Favourites pages for some suggestions) we could be working together to get Britain buzzing again. Wherever you are, if there are birds, bees, or butterflies flourishing near you, it should be possible for you to plant something that will bring them into your windowbox, onto your patch.

Honeybee on applermint flower

 Bumblebee on knapweed july 2014.Geranium Rozanne with honeybee

 

A Pollinator border

Marc Carlton’s 2010 cottage garden pollinator border, designed to attract wild bees & hoverflies.

http://www.foxleas.com THE POLLINATOR GARDEN

 

Gardener and ecologist Marc Carlton created this clear and extensive website, based on his experience of bringing more wildlife into his south London garden. He wants it to be printed and/or downloaded for personal or non-commercial use.  Now living in Chepstow, Marc Carlton welcomes emails and will usually be available to give talks in the area (Bristol and North Wales).  In THE POLLINATOR GARDEN, you will find:

* How insects feed from flowers
* A planting list for pollinators
* The basics of nature-friendly gardening
* Garden meadows
* Recommended reading lists
* Links to helpful sites
* Nature gardens in Holland and Germany, and a North American page for readers in the USA/Canada

Planting lists from THE POLLINATOR GARDEN will, we hope, be used by those in charge of parks and gardens as well as gardeners. We can all choose wildlife-friendly plants that offer the most pollen and nectar to our bees.

 

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Row 6 No 4 - Bumblebee on Hardy GeraniumBumblebee on Sweet Woodruff 2Bumblebee on LavenderBumblebee on Cirsium rivulare thistle

 

The BBCT is a small charity working to raise public awareness about the plight of UK bumblebees. With its members and volunteers, the Trust examines the dangers facing our bumblebees and creates strategies to help them.

BBCT supports a “future in which our communities and countryside are rich in bumblebees and colourful flowers, supporting a diversity of wildlife and habitats for everyone to enjoy”.

Author & scientist Prof. Dave Goulson founded the Trust after discovering a link between bumblebee deaths & Nicotine-based pesticides (Neonicotinoids or Neonics). Bumblebees visiting flowers treated with these toxic substances become confused, losing the ability to find their way back to their nests. Neonics were banned for two years by the EU in December 2013. The UK Government disputed the scientific findings; those calling for a permanent ban include The RSPB and The Soil Association.

Dave Goulson was interviewed by Jim al-Khalili for BBC Radio 4‘s series The Life Scientific on 11 Nov 2014. He chatted about life, science, bumblebees and the case against Neonics. You can download this programme, which is 13MB and lasts for 28 minutes :   www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series

 

Support for The BBCT

 

Bumblebee on Purple Loosestrife

* SCHOOLS ARE HELPING BEES : POLLI:NATION

In this innovative biodiversity project, 260 UK schools & a growing number of community groups & individuals are helping pollinators. Secondary & Primary school pupils are surveying their school grounds or garden to learn what pollinators need, making sure there is plenty of food & shelter.

Young people have been making school grounds into pollinator havens – creating vertical green walls & night-blooming flower beds, debating pesticide use & lobbying to change school maintenance regimes.  BBCT is involved. The project, developed by the charity Learning through Landscapes (LTL)*, is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and is being evaluated by Stirling University.

      On the LTL website, Sir David Attenborough argues against schools sacrificing their outdoor spaces to cope with the sharp rise in pupil numbers.

Read more about the Polli:Nation scheme :  http://www.polli-nation.co.uk/about/

* EASYFUNDRAISING

Bumblebee on Purple Loosestrife closeupOver 2,700 UK retailers have registered with this site to raise funds for BBCT. When you shop online, (for groceries, train tickets, hotel rooms and more) retailers from Apple, Argos and Amazon.UK to Waitrose donate a percentage of what you spend to the charity.

Go to http://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/invite/2P51H7/ & click to sign up. Look through the easyfundraising website, choose a retailer & click on your purchase. The retailer will give you a cash reward that easyfundraising turns into a donation for BBCT, as well as an extra £1 from your first donation at no extra cost to you.

 *  THE ‘BEES KNEES’ –  Show Garden by Martyn Wilson