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How to make bees the buzz of your garden

Help increase population by planting more shrubs and flowers, says Judith Cole

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Bees don't just give us honey, they help to ensure the life cycle of more than 80% of crops and wild plants in Europe and pollinate a third of the fruit and veg we eat

Bees don't just give us honey, they help to ensure the life cycle of more than 80% of crops and wild plants in Europe and pollinate a third of the fruit and veg we eat

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Bees don't just give us honey, they help to ensure the life cycle of more than 80% of crops and wild plants in Europe and pollinate a third of the fruit and veg we eat

At a time when the majority of us are living and working from home, it's more important than ever to find ways to keep active, healthy and engaged.

Now is the perfect time to brighten up our outdoor spaces and bolster our natural food resources for the coming months.

The honey brand Rowse's Hives For Lives is a programme of initiatives that protects the bees and improves livelihoods through beekeeping.

This is important as bees don't just give us honey, they help to ensure the life cycle of more than 80% of crops and wild plants in Europe and pollinate a third of the fruit and veg we eat.

However, it is believed that the number of British beehives has declined by nearly 75% over the last century and the UK is missing nearly 40% of the beehives needed in order to future-proof our bee count. But we can help by encouraging flowers to grow in our gardens - a good way to keep the kids entertained while also helping bees keep our natural food growing.

In line with Government regulations to stay at home, you can get seeds, plants, herbs and compost delivered to your door.

Here are some handy hints on how you can help the bees:

1) Plant flowering plants from early spring through to winter. Make sure you have loads of different types.

Some plants are more effective than others at attracting bees, so choose the bright flowers like lavender and borage, or tasty pollen herbs like thyme and marjoram.

You don't need to just plant in your garden - these will work just as well on your patio, window box or hanging baskets.

2) Bees love weeds! A lawn full of clover and dandelions is a haven for bees, so let a patch of your lawn grow or raise the notches on the mower to lift the cutting blade a few centimetres.

3) Be wild! Some of a bee's favourite nectar sources can be found in natural hedgerows and areas of wild plants or flowers, including bramble and ivy.

4) Bees need water, so make sure there is somewhere in your garden for them to drink from.

If you see a tired or struggling bee, give them a one-off boost with some sugary water. Mix two tablespoons of white sugar and one tablespoon of water, put some of the mixture on the spoon with the bee and it should soon have a drink and become energised to take flight.

See more about Hives for Lives at rowsehoney.co.uk/hives-for-lives


Belfast Telegraph