Why you should attract butterflies & bees to your garden
Most people like seeing butterflies and bees, but do you know why it’s important to attract them to your garden?
As they move from flower to flower they pollinate garden and wild flowers, enabling plants to reproduce. As well as helping flowers to pollinate, they provide population control for a number of plant and insect species by eating them, and they provide a food source for other animals. Butterflies and bees also make the world a little more colourful.
Their presence, or absence, can tell us a lot about the local environment. According to the British Bee Keepers Association about one third of the food we eat would not be available but for bees.
In a recent survey* by Squire’s Garden Centres 70% of people said they would like to encourage more butterflies and bees into their garden, so here are some suggestions to help attract them to your garden.
Create A Butterfly & Bee Friendly Garden
- Plant vibrant and colourful plants
Butterflies and bees will visit any garden, however small, if they can feed from suitable nectar-rich plants. Squire’s recommend that you plant plenty of pink and purple plants, which are colours loved by our winged friends. Try Buddleia, Verbena, Lavender or Marjoram.
- Give them warmth and shelter
Butterflies and bees both like warmth, so choose sunny sheltered spots to place your plants. Give bees shelter by letting your grass grow various lengths to suit different bees. Place a butterfly house and nectar feeders in a quiet sunny spot.
- Give them a drink
Provide water for them in your garden. It could be a pond, a birdbath, or simply a shallow dish filled with water – but make sure to add a few stones or marbles to provide a surface for them to drink from, as they can drown in water bowls.
- Help a tired bee
Add two spoons of sugar to one spoon of water, and leave the spoon in front of a tired bee. Once it’s eaten it will be revived.
- Help a tired butterfly
Make a warm resting place by laying a few flat stones in a sunny part of the garden that’s sheltered from the wind.
Plants that will attract butterflies & bees to your garden
Notes To Editor
* Survey of 669 people carried out by Squire’s Garden Centres in May 2018
British Beekeepers Association: https://www.bbka.org.uk/fun-facts-abut-bees