At Bee Potion, sustainable or natural beekeeping, as it is often called, is central to our ethos and allows us to create a more symbiotic relationship with our bees.
WILD COMB BEING BUILT INTO DEEP FRAME
As well as striving to be ethical with our approach, we are also extremely passionate about educating and encouraging children to take action to support our vital keystone pollinators.
In the UK we have around 270 species of bee, just under 250 of which are solitary bees. That’s a lot of bees that we can support.
There’s no better way of teaching kids than getting them to make some changes in your own outdoor space.
Here are our top tips to make your garden more friendly for all types of bees:
1) The simplest way of providing a habitat for bees in your garden is to find a patch of earth that you can give over to miner bees in May and June. Scratch a piece of earth on the ground and the females can then use this to lay their eggs in little earth tunnels.
2) Bee hotels can be created simply by using lots of layered materials with holes and you can add moss and earth to them for cosy bee insulation. A cluster of tubes like bamboo or dried hollow stems of various thickness tied together will work very well. Hang your hotel in a shrub a couple of metres from the ground. If you don’t have bamboo, reusing little plastic bottles and adding a bit of wool at bottom for insulation will also work.
3) Now a really great habitat that will create a free swarm of honeybees is a hollowed out log you can put in a tree. If you have not got the time to hollow out a log, and let’s face it how many of us do, check out Beekindhives.uk and you can get one made for your tree.
4) Make sure that the bees flight path to your bee hotel is free from humans. That's the key to avoid collisions and upsetting them.
5) Hydration is so important for bees. So along with a bee hotel add a swimming pool! Bees especially need water during the hot months. In our wild garden we use cake stands with stones and sticks (as bees need floats so they don't drown). These are great in city spaces. Use rain water and make a bee bath cocktail with a bit of earth, as the minerals are important for the bees too. Terracotta large saucers are good too.
6) Remember though no hotel is complete with the right room service. So make sure you plant lots of one herb or shrub (try lavender, Thyme or Oregano). These herbs are good for you and good for the bees. We recommend Planting for Honeybees by Sarah Wyndham Lewis (@plantingforhoneybees), this is a great book and will help make your garden a bee’s paradise.
Good luck making your garden more bee friendly and if you have any questions you can get in touch with us via Instagram @beepotion