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Its time to step in and help the unsung heroes of horticulture – the bees.

The UK is home to 250 species of bee and they are on the decline. A lot of this stems from changes in agriculture and land use resulting in loss of habitat. Farming large monocultures, removing hedges, and our usage of herbicides and pesticides on the land are really harming our bees.

You may think that this has nothing to do with you but bees are partly responsible for producing our food. Without their pollination techniques we will produce smaller yields and the price of food will escalate. If we had to pay humans to carry out the pollination work that bees do for free the expenditure would be phenomenal.

For more information see below:

http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/briefings/bees_report_briefing.pdf

What can us simple gardeners do to help?

Firstly sign the Friends of the earth Bee Cause- see link below

http://www.foe.co.uk/what_we_do/bee_cause_about_35042.html

Secondly, stop using garden based pesticides that contain Neonicotinoide as an active ingredient as this is harmful to bees and adding to their decline.

And lastly plant up some bee friendly plants in your garden. By doing this we can help to create bee 'corridors' so that bees can easily move around and feed/pollinate.

These are some of the plants at Hestercombe that bees LOVE:

Clarkia ‘Sybil Sherwood’

Geranium ibericum

Erigeron karvinskianus

Gypsophila paniculata

Helleborus orientalis

Doronicum orientale

Aster sedifolius

Papaver rupifragum

Nepeta x fassenii

Campanula carpatica

Olearia phlogopappa

Monarda didyma ‘Squaw’

Eryngium x oliverianum

Echinops bannaticus

Look out for the bee logo in our plant sales area to be sure that you are planting a beneficial species or ask Helen in Plant sales for advice.

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