How to help thirsty bees in your garden
It’s that time of year again, when the pollinators are out and buzzing around searching for food.
In some cases, this is just food to eat but others, such as the humble bumblebee, are foraging to feed young in the nest. The constant flying for resources is exhausting!
This weather we’ve been having – colds pouring rain one minute, then hot sunshine the next – will be having an effect. Happily, we can help them.
An easy fix to help insects through the really warm days is a pollinator water garden. This is a simple shallow container, much like the spill tray for planted flowers, with a few pebbles and rainwater in it for pollinators to get a nice drink of water.
A well-known retailer sells a three-cheese dip that I really like, which comes in a small terracotta dish. I would rather this dish gets used for something else and not put into the bin, so I have recycled mine to make a water garden.
I added a wee ornamental beehive for the middle and pebbles for the bees and hoverflies to rest on, and them filled it with rainwater. Collecting rain water to use in your garden is really easy in Scotland – just leave some buckets or watering cans in the open out to collect it. Just remember not to cover the pebbles so that the insects have a dry place to rest.
Place your water garden beside flowers in a sunny spot and remember to keep an eye on water levels as it might need topped up during dry spells. You will also need to clean it out every now and then, picking out fallen leaves or seeds. All that is left to do is sit back and watch who visits your new water garden.
Get started with our Pollinator water garden activity (pdf)