In spring, solitary bees are emerging, including the hairy-footed flower bee (Anthophora plumipes) and red mason bee (Osmia bicornis). Honeybees are also starting to emerge, gathering nectar and pollen to take back to the hive to feed their emerging brood.
Kate Bradbury explains how to provide the habitats and food they need.
Leave loose mortar
Leave holes and sections of loose mortar in garden walls, as long as they are structurally safe, to provide nesting sites and refuges for a range of species including the red mason bee.
Retain old fruit trees
Retain old fruit trees such as apples and pears to provide bark and crevices for bees. Fruit trees also produce plenty of nectar and pollen-rich blossom.
Keep some grass mown short
Help ground-nesting solitary bees, such as the tawny mining bee (Andrena fulva) by keeping an area of grass mown short, as well as patches of bare soil, so they can nest easily.
Grow nectar-rich plants
Grow some of these nectar-rich plants: allium, bluebells, bugle (Ajuga reptans), crocus, daffodil, euphorbia, heather (Calluna vulgaris), honesty, grape hyacinth, primroses, rhododendron, viburnum, wallflowers.