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Bee Friendly: Five Star Accommodation

Why is this important?

As mentioned earlier, the loss of 97% of traditional lowland grassland meadows in England and Wales between1930-84 has had a terrible impact on pollinating insects with many of their habitats being lost. Since the 1900’s the UK has lost 20 species of bee due to extinction with a further 35 species now considered under threat of extinction. In Europe the situation is no better with almost 1 in 10 wild bee species are now facing extinction.

What have Denbighshire County Council been doing?

We have been working with school and community groups to create bee and bug “hotels” at some of our “Bee Friendly Denbighshire” sites. By educating our children and communities about pollinators we can share with them our passion to conserve, protect and enhance our environment and together we can work towards making Denbighshire a more biodiverse and pollinator friendly county! We would love to hear from you if you or your local group would like to get involved, please see the Contact page for further details

So how can you help?

By creating extra accommodation for pollinating insects to lay their eggs and a safe place for them to shelter from the weather and predators, we are giving them a fighting chance.

Bee Hotels

A bee hotel provides space for solitary insects to nest in. They are fascinating to watch and a good way of learning about solitary bees. Build and maintain at least one bee hotel in a suitable location (In full sun, facing south or south east. a metre off the ground, with no vegetation blocking the entrance, and with a strong roof to deflect rain). Monitor the bee and bug hotels from year to year, cleaning and replacing nesting tubes and materials as necessary.

For further instructions on building your Bee hotel have a look at this Buglife guide! https://www.buglife.org.uk/sites/default/files/Make%20a%20bee%20hotel%20-%20simple.pdf See if we can get a pdf download link

Bug Hotels

Bug hotels are great idea for the autumn months when the trees lose their leaves. By creating a bug hotel you can keep your garden looking ‘tidy’ while also providing various bugs with a great food source and a safe place to hibernate over the winter. It’s a win – win situation!

For some helpful instructions on how to make a bug hotel have a look at this Buglife guide! https://www.buglife.org.uk/sites/default/files/Make%20a%20bug%20hotel%20-%20simple.pdf See if we can get a pdf download link

Deadwood Piles

It’s not just bees and other flying insects that pollinate our flowers, beetles help out too! So why not give the beetles, spiders and other crawling insects their own place to live. You will be amazed at how quickly the bugs and other wildlife in your garden will take an interest in your deadwood pile!

For some helpful instructions on how to make your own deadwood pile have a look at this Buglife guide! https://www.buglife.org.uk/sites/default/files/Deadwood%20for%20beetles.pdf See if we can get a pdf download link

Some extra ideas

Some ideas from the Welsh Government’s Bee Friendly Action Guide See if we can get a pdf download link

  • Create suitable habitats for hoverflies to lay eggs in, promoting pollinators in your garden, by creating a hoverfly lagoon (http://thebuzzclub.uk/PDF/MethodsLagoons_2018.pdf) See if we can get a pdf download link  or creating a pond or “boggy places”
  • Avoid destroying existing nesting habitats for ground nesting solitary bees and bumblebees
  • Identify and protect or provide areas of long grass, hollow trees, cavities large and small in walls for bees to nest inside
  • Identify areas of short mown grass or embankments that currently support colonies of ground-nesting bees
  • Identify old walls that currently support colonies of solitary bees nesting in crumbly mortar, and ensure that these walls are not re-built or re-pointed without making arrangements to retain the solitary bees
  • Develop and maintain strips of tussocky grass (cut every 2-3 years to prevent scrub invasion) as nesting areas for aboveground-nesting bumble bee species
  • Plant a thicket of Goat Willow (Salix caprea), the leaves of which provide food for caterpillars, and the flowers provide an early season pollen source for queen bumblebees. 
  • Plant a hedgerow of native shrub species
  • Install bee hives on your land (see under resources for the Welsh Beekeepers Association website to find out what is involved in this, and links to Beekeeping Associations throughout Wales. The WBKA have a scheme where people wanting a beekeeper to put a hive on their land can enter their details).

For more details on Hoverfly Lagoons please see all the great information on the Buzz Club website http://thebuzzclub.uk/Hoverfly_Lagoons.php

Here’s what Denbighshire County Council are setting out to achieve

Alongside our work with community and school groups we will also be undertaking the following:

  • Report on any events we run to create pollinator nesting/resting sites.
  • Report on the number of bee and bug “hotels” given out/made.

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