Everyone loves bees – but pretty much no one loves them as much as our wonderful operations manager Mat Davison… who is such a fan that he has just welcomed no fewer than 15,000 of the creatures into his garden!
And he will be sharing some of his bee passion with us over the coming weeks while we enjoy more time at home and in our gardens.
Luckily for Mat and his team, they’re still able to work in the glasshouses at Egginton. The space is so huge that social distancing is very easy.
In fact, he adores the insects so much Mat hopes more and more customers will be taking advantage of Plantscape’s special bee-friendly range of plants introduced last year.
As part of our campaign to share our expertise and passion for all things floral while we’re protecting the nation by staying at home, we asked Mat to share some of his tips on the best ways to attract bees and help protect the delicate ecosystem.
Those with children at home could share the fun with them – and perhaps see how many bees they can count at any one time in the garden (probably no-one will have as many as Mat).
Mat’s honey bees are among 250 different species in the UK which play a vital role in our food chain.
Mat, who hopes his new family will expand to around 50,000 in the future, says planting wildflower seeds is an excellent way to attract pollinators.
“You also need a good water source. Let wild flowers and weeds such as dandelions and nettles, grow and cut lawn mowing down to a minimum.
“In my recent copy of Garden News I found some amazing statistics. An average lawn can support more than 1,000 honeybees a day from the nectar produced by flowers such as dandelion and clover. And if we reduce mowing to once a month, 20 per cent of gardens could support an amazing 4,000 bees a day!
“We rely on these little creatures. Without them a third of the world’s crops would disappear. If they go extinct we’ll soon follow. So we have to do our bit to protect the planet.”
“If you fancy having a go at planting some of the flowers we put in our official bee friendly planters then give some of these a whirl: verbena santos, bacopa, calibrachoa or gaura sparkle white. They’re all easy to plant and maintain and the blooms will last for months – as long as they have enough space for the roots to grow.”
Here’s more information on attracting bees to your garden from Gardeners World, The Woodland Trust and our idverde partner the RSPB.
We’ll be posting updates on Mat’s bee journey on Linked In, Facebook and Twitter. Feel free to share your bee planting photos with us there too.