|Cheap and cheery Bee Bath on my patio|
I'm always on the look-out for simple ways to be a better friend to wildlife.
This year, a couple of very simple, inexpensive additions to my garden are going down a storm with wild visitors!
One is this Bee Bath I made in five minutes out of:
-an old plant pot as a base, weighted with stones to discourage it from toppling over when landed on by over-enthusiastic birds!
-a surplus plant saucer
-some pebbles I had lying around.
The water in this bath needs to be kept fairly shallow, with the pebbles protruding above the surface, so the bees can drink without drowning. Nearby, in the hot days of summer, I also intend to put a bee-sized serving of sugary water in a very small container, to revive tired workers we sometimes see struggling after a busy day making honey and pollinating the precious planet.
In past years, it's been a privilege to see a sluggish, dying bee instantly rejuvenated and flying off like a new buzzer when I've offered it a bit of sugar water. This year I'd like to make that offer a bit more permanent and accessible to all.
In my neck of the woods in South Yorkshire, I'm fortunate to meet a variety of bees from the 250 species still found in the UK: some of my regulars are
the Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris)
Red-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius)
and many more!
I hope by making our gardens a happy health spa for these amazing insect friends, so hard-working, beautiful and sadly now under threat from pesticides and other changes worldwide, we'll be welcome hosts to our guests. Maybe by these simple gestures, we can see their numbers growing again, and the crops they pollinate so faithfully may not fail in the future we all share.
Have a Happy Bee-Cherishing Spring and Summer!