How To Save Bees With Your Kids
I’m a massive fan of bees, so much so that one of my son’s middle names is actually Bumblebee (I kid you not) and as a result we have a fondness for keeping the bees in our garden – of course. I’ve been known to rescue them with sugar water if we find one out of his steam, save them from spider webs and naturally we encourage an environment that invites them in with our garden design. Luckily there is nothing more lovely than an English garden filled with plants that bees love so it’s no hardship this devotion of ours!
1 – Bees are pollinators and without them our own Vitamin A reserves would be severely affected. Research shows that 70% of the vitamin A in our diets depends on pollination from bees. The World Bee Project is a British social enterprise with information on the world crisis bees face and how to make your environment more habitable for bees!
2 – Reading family friendly material with your kids is a great way to start educating them on the plight of the bee. A good one is “The Good Bee – A Celebration of Bees and How to Save Them” which you can buy from The Works.
3 – Kew Gardens have a great list of flowers which can be planted to attract happy bees in different seasons. Right now, during summer, bees love lavender, ox-eye daisies and meadow cranesbill amongst others.
4 – We like seeing bug hotels on our travels and have planted one firmly in our garden to attract not just bees but all insects. They don’t have to be big or fancy, just a few bricks with some bamboo and plants with pollen winding around or near them can make a beautiful addition to the back yard!
5 – Honey Bee colonies are in decline and one thought about why is because of the pesticides used by humans. It is believed it can make the size of honeybees smaller. In home gardens it is worth noting that natural pesticides are nettles nd rhubarbs so it is worth planting around that rather than spraying on damage!
6 – Friends of the Earth sell Bee Saver Kits which come with seeds for wild flowers, a garden panner, a bee spotter guide, a step by step tips sheet for saving bees and a bee postcard. I love that favours for a wedding I attended recently were along similar lines with seeds of wild flowers to encourage bees for every guest!
7 – Propagation of plants is a really quick way of getting a bee favourite in your garden. I like to take cuttings of bee swarming plants when I see them and propagate them in my own garden. You can read about propagation here.
8 – Provide a place for bees to drink. Bees are tiny so it doesn’t have to be an extensive pond or even water feature added to the garden, just a small dish filled with stones and water gives them a much needed watering hole when they are mid break doing their bee jobs!
9 – Shop small with companies who make a donation into the saving of bee species. Everyone loves a bee trinket and there are lots of independent sellers who make gorgeous bee jewellery, bags and cards amongst other things while sending a percentage of their profits to charity!
10 – Encourage your children’s school to take the plight of the bee on board and invite them to create bee friendly gardens at school so that children are enthused and want to do the same at home. The British Bee Keeper’s Association have some great information to pass onto your local head!