Get buzzing with NHBC’s top tips for creating a bee friendly garden

20 May 2020

a close up picture of a bumblebee landing on a purple flower

With summer on its way and many of us spending more time at home, there has never been a better time to make your garden more bee friendly.

At NHBC, the leading warranty and insurance provider for new homes in the UK, we have teamed up with social enterprise Urban Beelievers and a beehive or two will soon be winging their way to our Milton Keynes head office.

To mark World Bee Day on 20 May, here are some top tips on what you can do to support bees.

Create a bee friendly garden:

  • Grow bee friendly flowers throughout the year. There are several times in the year when there are not as many flowering trees and plants for bees to find their food – pollen and nectar. Plants that flower in late autumn/early winter, late winter/early spring and in the month of June are particularly helpful to bees.
  • Plant flowers, shrubs and trees that produce a lot of pollen and nectar. Look out for the little bee symbol when you are buying plants at the garden centre to make sure they are helpful to bees.
  • Choose plants, shrubs and trees that have open flower heads so it’s easy for the bees to get to the nectar and collect pollen.
  • Provide a water source for bees in your garden. As well as nectar and pollen bees need water. They particularly like a slight muddy source of water as it has additional nutrients in it, so a slightly boggy area or pond in your garden is great for bees.

Bee friendly plants:

  • Keep your weeds! Bees love dandelions especially so try to put off mowing the grass until the dandelions have finished flowering
  • Fruit trees (apple, cherry, plum) are great for bees as they have lots of flowers, as well fruit bushes such as blackberry and raspberry
  • Ivy flowers during the late autumn so are an excellent plant for bees to forage on before winter.
  • Flowers like primrose and hellebore are good for the early part of the year.
  • Herbs are also great to grow in pots and bees love them, especially thymerosemarymint and marjoram.

For more top tips from NHBC click here.