We can all make a difference – here are some small but vital ways in which you can help protect our bees and other pollinators.
Help bees thrive - in your garden, school, allotment or local green spaces
Grow the plants that provide food for bees and other pollinating insects through the seasons. As well as planting flowers, think about herbs, fruit, vegetables, shrubs and trees - they can all provide nectar when they are in flower. Don’t ignore plants that flower in early spring and autumn to give that much-needed boost.
Next summer, let the grass grow under your feet - leaving some or all of your lawn to grow long encourages wildflowers and provides nesting places for pollinators. Sow seed balls and gather your own seeds to spread the goodness far and wide - one of our favourites is www.seedball.co.uk
Check out these great resources for more ideas and inspiration
for a beautiful, bee-friendly haven:
Stop using chemical pesticides in your garden
Never use chemical pesticides in your garden – you may be using neonicotinoids and harming bees and other insects without even realising it. There are many ways to protect your plants wihtout resorting to killer chemicals – which might also kill the predators that feed on greenfly and other damaging insects and upset the natural balance.
Check this list to ensure that you’re not supporting the neonics industry.
Build a home for the bees
Make a bee box by drilling holes in a log or simply bundle up lengths of bamboo, to provide nesting sites for solitary bees.
You can also do this by building artificial chambers, using natural materials or recycled household items.
Ask your local and national retailers to stop selling garden products containing neonics
It is time for a ban on the sale of home and garden products that contain neonicotinoids - there is simply no need for them.
A number of large retailers have voluntarily taken such products off their shelves following concerns about the effect they are having on pollinators. Let's inspire others to follow. If your indepdent or national garden centre is selling products containing neonicotinoids, ask them to stop.
A full list of which products contain neonicotinoids is available below.
Ask your MP to back the ban on bee-harming pesticides
Right now, three neonicotinoid pesticides (neonics) are banned in the UK and in other European countries after they were found to pose a risk to bees. But the ban doesn’t extend to some important crops such as oil seed rape.
The government must back a permanent ban on neonics and promise that any future pesticide regulations will protect nature and human health.
Take action today, ask your MP to do the right thing for our bees.
You can find out who your MP is and how to contact them here: http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/
Ask your supermarket to support measures to reduce the use of neonics on the oilseed rape that enters their supply chains
A 2016 study in Nature reported that neonicotinoids were responsible for a 10% reduction in the distribution of bee species that forage on oilseed rape in the UK. Production of oilseed rape in the UK has doubled in the past decade – make sure your food purchases don’t promote increased use of neonics that damage our natural environment.
Ask your supermarket to support measures to reduce the use of neonics on the oilseed rape that enters their supply chains and to sell organic oilseed rape. If possible, only purchase organic rapeseed oil (or use other organic oils) and let your supermarket know why you have made this choice.