Let it Bee - how you can create a buzz in your garden for World Bee Day

The NHBC Foundation recently partnered with the RSPB and Barratt Developments to produce new guidance on how the housebuilding industry can incorporate green infrastructure into new build homes and enhance and protect biodiversity within developments to help deliver wider public health benefits. 

The report - Biodiversity in new housing developments: creating wildlife-friendly communities -highlights that biodiversity should be considered at the earliest stages of planning new home developments to encourage wildlife and help reverse habitat decline. 

Among its many findings, it highlights how bee planters make ideal features for developers to include, in and around amenity areas and the best locations to fit bee bricks into boundary walls.  

With that in mind and to mark World Bee Day on May 20th, we’ve bee-n looking at the simple steps homeowners can make to help our tiny black and yellow friends flourish this summer…  

You should: 

  • 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. 

  • Did you know bees are partial to a bit of rosemary, mint and thyme? Herbs are great to grow in pots and those little bees love them. 

  • Plant flowers, shrubs and trees that produce a lot of pollen and nectar. Look out for the small 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. 

  • If possible, 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. 

  • 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. 

And finally, 

  • 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. 

Best of luck in creating the perfect bee paradise in your back garden!  

Read the latest Foundation Report

NHBC Foundation's latest report provides guidance on how the housebuilding industry can incorporate green infrastructure into new build homes and enhance and protect biodiversity within developments to help deliver wider public health benefits.