Our small garden attracts lots of bees during the summer, so one of my aims during 30dayswild is to add some more features to make the garden even more friendly for them. I’m also going to be spending some time trying to identify how many different species of bees we have visiting, and what they are.
As a random act of wildness, today I added a bee waterer to the garden. Being a bee is thirsty work, they can fly a long way each day in their search for pollen and nectar, honey bees have been know to forage up to 7 miles from their hive, if there are not abundant sources of pollen closer to them. Bees also need liquid to feed their grubs, and to produce honey. We have a pond in our garden, but bees can drown in deep water, so a special bee waterer to keep them well hydrated seems like an excellent edition to the garden.
On my day 2 trip to the charity shop, I picked up a flat glass bowl for a £1 and I ordered marbles online for £1.95. The marbles arrived today. I cleaned the bowl and rinsed it carefully to make sure it was clean for the bees, picked some lavender from the garden, which I crushed slightly to release its scent, to help attract the bees, placed this at the bottom of the bowl covered in marbles, then poured in sugar water, made with a teaspoon of granulated sugar and water, until it came up to just below the level of the marbles. I placed the bee waterer out on the lawn, below the plum tree, where five bees were sipping the sticky sap from the leaves. They didn’t seem immediately interested in the new feature, but I’ll keep an eye on it, and see if they use it on a hotter day. I’m going to check it daily to make sure it is topped up, at the same time as I check the water and food on the bird table.
Today I’ve also started to see more birds in the garden as a result of the extra food and water I’ve been putting out. This morning there were at least four magpies and three wood pigeons in the garden. For me, this was exciting, when we did the Big Garden Birdwatch in January we drew a blank and last year had just one wood pigeon. Last summer we had blue tits nesting in the garden, which we watched fledge, but sadly this has not been repeated this year. We’d love to have more birds in the garden, so this is a good start. This evening I added more food to the feeders, including some newly purchased mealworms and fat balls, and topped up their water, after a hot day.
Looking forward to day 5 of the 30dayswild challenge, I have something exciting planned for my Friday night!