Although the name of our company Mini Beee has nothing to do with bees, we are huge bee fans. It is vital that we all try to do our bit to help protect bees. Not just because they are beautiful creatures, but because they are so important for our planet, plants, agriculture and food system.
Often, we get customers asking us, ‘Did you name your company after bees?’
Well, as much as we love bees, no, we didn’t use them as our namesake.
Actually, the name Mini Beee comes from our twist on the words ‘mini bench’, with the eees representing the cushions perched on top of a bench.
But, this question gave us a great idea for an important topic to share on our blog.
Europe’s bee population is in danger, and that’s a scary prospect for lots of different reasons.
We depend on bees for so much of our way of living, far more than many people ever realise, in fact.
It’s vital that we do our bit to help protect bees. Not just because they are lovely creatures, but because they do so much to support our planet, plants, agriculture and food system.
Thankfully, there’s a lot that you can do to help protect our bees, right in your back garden.
We’ve used this blog post as a guide to protecting the humble bumble, with bee-friendly plants, crafts and tips for you to try.
Why is it so important?
Bees are one of the single most important creatures on our planet.
In fact, honey bees perform around 80% of the world’s pollination.
A single colony of bees can pollinate 300 million flowers every single day.
Out of the top 100 food crops that humans depend on, 70 are pollinated by bees (which equals about 90% of the nutrition of the entire human population).
The expression ‘busy bee’ is no coincidence.
As you can see, it’s crucial that we do our bit to protect them.
Our top tips for creating bee-friendly garden spaces
1. Plant bee-friendly flowers
When bees pollinate flowers, they collect nectar, which they use for food. So, more flowers, more food.
What’s more, by choosing flowers that bees are particularly fond of, you can increase the effect of this helping hand.
Bee-friendly flowers are often brightly coloured, highly perfumed, or both. These qualities mean that the bees are more likely to notice them and be drawn to them.
Some of the best bee-friendly flowers include:
2. Choose a variety of flowers, with different blossoming periods
When selecting your bee-friendly flowers, choose a variety of flowers, which (between them) blossom across the Spring and Summer months.
This way, the bees have always got a flower to choose from.
For example, crocuses bloom in the Spring, while sunflowers bloom from Summer through to Autumn.
In essence, the more bee-friendly flowers you plant, the better!
3. Create a bee hotel
This is a great craft activity for you and the kids to try together.
To make a bee hotel, all you need to do is create a house-shaped structure out of wood, then fill it with hollow stems, reeds and bamboo.
We’d really recommend reading the Woodland Trust’s guide to building a bee hotel - it’s a great step-by-step guide to creating a bee hotel at home, using natural garden materials.
You’ll delight in watching the bees buzz around their new home.
4. Leave patches of grass to grow
Rather than regularly cutting all of your lawn, try leaving some patches to grow a little longer. This is a great way to help protect bees during periods of bad weather, as it gives them a convenient spot to quickly shelter themselves.
5. Don’t use chemical garden treatments
Chemical fertilisers and pesticides are one of the biggest contributors to the decline of the world’s bee population.
By limiting (or better yet, totally cutting out) your use of garden chemicals, you can make sure that you’re not inadvertently harming any bees that pay you a visit.
6. Grow your own veg
With a wide variety of different plants in your garden, you can create a wildlife habitat, in which visiting bees can thrive.
If you want to try growing veg in your garden, check out our blog post: A beginners guide to growing your own vegetables.
7. Learn more about them
The more you know about bees, the more successful you will be in creating an environment in which they are safe and happy.
As you do your bee-search, get the kids involved. Together, you can learn about the vital (and fascinating) work that bees do. What better way to instill a love of nature in your children?
To get you started, we’d recommend having a read of the following educational resources:
There’s so much to learn about the natural world. Everything in it, from little bees to giant, majestic oak trees, all has its place.
At Mini Beee, we help parents to instill a lifetime love of nature in their child, by creating kids-only garden spaces in which children can connect with nature through play.
If this sounds absolutely idyllic, be sure to have a scroll through our online shop.