Bees and wildflowers need you! As you probably know, bees of all sorts, honey, solitary, cuckoo and bumble, are all in decline.
There are many reasons behind this but loss of habitat and nectar sources play a massive part – from the loss of our green spaces to development to deciding to pave over our front gardens – all has an impact on our bees.
Natural Wight became involved in bee conservation on the Isle of Wight through Ian Boyd of Arc Consulting during his time at Gift to Nature. Each winter, our Green Army volunteers have joined Ian making habitat for mining bees in the wonderful Newchurch bee fields. Meanwhile, at Natural Wight events, hundreds of children (and adults!) have helped to transform the Island’s most boring patches of plain old amenity grass by making and then launching the by-now-pretty-famous… BEE BOMBS! Packed with special seeds, these small clay balls are perfect for guerrilla gardening, re-introducing bee (and bug)-friendly native wildflowers to our environment and hopefully making a big difference to bees and other invertebrates.
Here’s how to make a Natural Wight bee bomb to bring a bit of colour and a lot of nectar to your neighbourhood!
And see below for links on how you can help bees… and bugs and butterflies…
What you need:
- Potter’s clay or even natural clay
- Peat-free Compost
- Wildflower seeds (native plant species preferably – Emorsgate Seeds have the perfect mixes for all occasions www.wildseed.co.uk)
- Newspaper – cut the paper into large squares for wrapping up your bee bombs!
- Tools for decorating your bee bomb – this can be anything from forks and chopsticks to either end of a biro or even a letter set.
What to do:
Roll a small (around 4 cm) pinch of clay around and around in the palm of your hand until it becomes a small smooth ball.
Push your finger into the middle of the ball to make a small hole – don’t go right the way through!
Put a small sprinkle of wildflower seeds in the hole and a pinch of compost on top.
Close the clay over the seeds and compost to seal them in and reform your ball by rolling it about again.
Use your tools to decorate your bee bombs – or stick more clay on it and turn it into any shape you like. We particularly like Bee People!!
Wrap the balls up in your newspaper, take them home and dry them on a windowsill. Once they’re dry, take them on your travels and launch them into any bit of boring green space where you think flowers and bees ought to be! The clay will wash away and the seeds will germinate. (Remember to be a bit careful when you throw them! You can also plant in the soil if you prefer).
Useful links and downloads
Learn more about how you can help bees
More on some of the national bee campaigns