Bee populations

Since 1990 the UK has lost 13 species of bee and a further 35 are considered in danger of extinction (Friends of the Earth)

Bees and other pollinators are incredibly important to the food chain in the UK. We rely on them to pollinate much of the fruit and vegetables we eat. Food production would be far more costly in a world without bees. Declining numbers of pollinators should be of concern to everybody.

Reasons for the decline of bee populations is not fully understood, but known causes include use of pesticides, loss of habitat and invasive non-native plants.

Providing a bee-friendly environment whether it's a large garden or a window box is a way we can all help. Fortunately there are easy ways to help bees, individuals can make a huge difference by planting flowers rich in nectar. Not all flowers are equal in this regard. Many ornamental plants have been bred to contain no nectar but there are bee-friendly plants for every season that are stunning garden plants as well. Many environmental organisations have bee-friendly plant lists online, including the RHS

Many of our favourite flowers like single poppies and ox-eye daisies are great choices but are rarely seen in garden centres. The plants I grow have been chosen from bee-friendly lists, so why not try planting something a little different this year which will help the environment and give you a beautiful flowering oasis.

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