Bees on a magenta flowerhead

Make your garden bee-friendly in spring

Find out how to make your garden more inviting to solitary and honey bees, as they emerge in spring.

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.

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Kate Bradbury explains how to provide the habitats and food they need.

Find out how to make your garden bee-friendly in summer, autumn and winter.

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.

Nine bee hotel ideas

A garden stone wall without mortar, leaving gaps for plants and nesting bees
A garden stone wall without mortar, leaving gaps for plants and nesting bees

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.

Discover the six essential features of a wildlife garden

Pale-pink and white fruit tree blossom
Pale-pink and white fruit tree 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.

Mowing grass short
Mowing grass short

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.

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Looking for more? Take a look at some of the best plants for bees

Blue grape hyacinth flowers
Blue grape hyacinth flowers