Thursday, 10 March 2011

Wildlife Gardening Part 3 Bee Boxes, insects and other animals

It is important in a wildlife garden to provide areas for as much wildlife as possible. The easiest and most important are insects not only are they a major part of the biodiversity in the garden but also beneficial. In the UK Bees are under a lot of pressure from agricultural processes and insecticides so we should do as much as possible to help them.

My first Bee box is this one designed to provide a home for bumble bees.

It is full of nesting material and has a small entrance hole on the front. It needs to be placed near a food source such as early flowering plants.

My second Bee box is designed for leaf cutter bees, these use small sections of leaf to line tubes in which they lay their eggs. This box is really nice as it has clear plastic tubes which allow you to view the occupants.

You can see in these photo's the nests the bees made last year

I also have these two bee boxes for solitary bees, both are placed near good food sources such as lavender

Bees are not the only insect it is worth encouraging into the garden, this is a lacewing box although it may also be used by ladybirds. Both these insects are great in the garden as they feed on aphids

The other two boxes I have in the garden are for mammals. The first is this hedgehog box, which is placed in a quiet spot of the garden for minimal disturbance by the dogs. In the autumn in bury it in leaves to make it more welcoming to any hedgehog looking for an overwintering site.

The second mammal box is this Bat box on our walnut tree. This box has been in place for several years but although we get a lot of bats over the garden sadly it has not been used yet. This is not unusual as bats tend to reuse nesting sites annually so it is only when they are disturbed that they will seek new sites.

Finally if you are interested in Bees you must vist. where you will find some beautiful illustrations of bees.

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