Spring is finally inching it’s way in. Hurrah!
However, with the changing weather our local wildlife has taken a beating. We have had frogs that have found their mates only to be frozen out of doing anything about it as the Siberian Bear hit the UK. Then when we spotted the frogspawn, we were only able to celebrate briefly before it was frozen! It is now looking very sad in our pond, knowing most couldn’t have survived – but we are staying hopefully for the middle and underneath group.
Another part of our local wildlife that we have seen suffering, are the bees. Especially bumble bees. So I have decided to research all I can to find out how we can help support them, especially in this mixed weather, but also in general.
So, firstly, we walk our dogs every day and recently I have seen bumble bees on every walk. Sadly, not buzzing around my head but on the floor, either motionless or squashed. Unfortunately there’s no saving those that have been crushed underfoot but we can save those that are motionless/ still because they are most likely still alive.
These are the steps you can take to try to save the bee:
- Don’t be afraid of them! They are small and probably in shock or feeling very slow (the worst they will probably do is buzz or fly away). Find an old receipt out of your bag, a leaf or something you can scoop the bee up with. Their wings are delicate so you don’t want to damage them.
- Now you’ve got them scooped up, if you can, place them somewhere warm. Bees cannot fly unless the temperature of their thorax is at least a constant 30 degrees. A greenhouse would be an example of a perfect place to leave them, in time they can stretch out their wings and fly away. You could also leave them on a flower, in a plant pot or just on a garden wall, in the sun preferably!
- If you are at home, or perhaps after reading this you may go out prepared with a little cosmetic bottle of it, you can prepare the bee a sweet treat. The bees own ‘Go-go Juice’. Country file (where this information is coming from) suggests one spoonful of water to two spoonfuls of sugar, mixed into a solution is perfect. Place some droplets onto a paper towel or a bottle top for the bee to sip. This should help give it the energy needed to get home or go onto the next flower.
- The last thing to remember is that the bee may not instantly recover, they may need an hour or two. In which case, don’t panic! Leave the bee to it’s own devices, you have already given them such a better chance of survival.
If you haven’t seen your local bees come out for Spring yet or you just want to know how else you can help then you could start in your garden. Whether your garden is a big outdoor space, your conservatory or a window box, you can help keep bees going.
If you visit the British Beekeepers Associations’ website they provide a great guide on what bees forage for and what you can grow to support them. They are currently rewriting a more up to date issue but you can buy the existing issue for only £4.
There are some great websites to find out information about bees and how best to protect them and this is one of them. The www.bumblebeeconservation.org website is all about an organisation key in helping protect our bee population. I have linked you up to their main page on threats and pressures for bees. It is on this page that you can find links to gardening ideas, survey work and if you have land you can manage for the promotion of wildlife (for example if you are a farmer and can grow different plants around the edges of your fields) it helps you too.
Some great flowers to grow include:
- Foxgloves (although watch this if you are a dog owner as they are toxic to dogs)
- Sweet peas
The list honestly goes on and on so I’m confident you can find a plant for any environment! Check out more on the same website here. Share anymore ideas in the comments below. Sharing is caring – in this case it really is!