The survival of many wild bee species is under threat. You can help them by providing nesting places and flowers. One easy way to do this is to set up an insect hotel surrounded by perennials. This increases biodiversity and makes your garden look even more fun.
Ready-made or DIY
Wild bees live solitary. They search for pollen and nectar by themselves and make their own nests for their eggs. You can help bees that nest above ground by setting up one or more insect hotels. You can buy these ready-made, or you can have a go at making one yourself. A nesting block made of stone or wood is quickly made by drilling holes with different diameters. Bundles with hollow stems of, for example, bamboo or reeds, also serve nicely as wild bee hotels. You can also find plenty of ideas for insect hotels in all shapes and sizes on the Internet.
Nectar and pollen menu
Wild bees have a limited flight range. That is why it is important that they have enough flowers in their immediate surroundings. Wild bees adore perennials, including lavender (Lavandula), cornflower (Centaurea), lupin (Lupinus), ox-eye (Heliopsis), marjoram (Origanum), devil’s bit (Succisa) and lungwort (Pulmonaria). Choose perennials with different flowering periods: the first wild bees appear in March, and the last ones are still buzzing around in October. In this way, there is sufficient nectar and pollen on the menu year after year. Vary to your heart’s content and turn your garden into a paradise for wild bees.
Did you know that…
- An insect hotel with the opening facing south is the most effective? Bees like to warm up in the sun.
- Only wild bee females have a small sting, but that they rarely sting?
- Some wild bees only visit certain plant varieties or families (specialists), others are less selective (generalists), and most are in between?