Illustrated bees in a repeating pattern
Illustrated bumble bee

How to Create a Bee-Friendly Garden

How to Create a Bee-Friendly Garden

When we think of the benefits bees bring, honey is often top of the list. Surprisingly, honey is only produced by a handful of bee species, and is much less valuable than the pollination that bees provide. Having used these bee benefits for years, we must now help the bees in return. One way to help save the bees is to create a bee-friendly garden. We've gathered up some simple changes from The Bee Book that you can make to your garden to help these marvellous little creatures thrive. The ideas shown below add up to the perfect wildlife garden, so pick the ideas that work best for your space, and create a bee-friendly garden no matter your resources.

1. Create a mini woodland

Create a miniature woodland on the edge of your garden by planting small, bee-friendly trees, underplanted with shade-tolerant perennials and biennials. If you can spare a patch of your larger garden, this miniature woodland will help bees to thrive.

Illustration of a solitary bee

2. Let the bees help your crops

If you grow your own crops, take advantage of bees hard-working nature and let them do some of the work. A wildlife-rich environment is a natural pest control for crops, and insect pollination will help to improve your crop yield, giving you the best of both.

3. Check into a bee hotel

A bee hotel is a wonderful way to give solitary bees a ready-made nest in your garden through imitating their natural habitat, and a neat and easy outdoor project that will last for a few years. You can make your own bee hotel using our step-by-step guide.

Bee hotel made of bamboo stacked inside a section of drainpipe, hanging from a tree in the sun

4. Grow a wildlife lawn

If you need an excuse to put down the lawnmower, why not help the bees and grow an edge of your lawn into a miniature wildlife haven? Long grass offers shelter and nesting habitats for insects, including bumblebees. Nectar-rich wildflowers such as dandelions and clovers will have an opportunity to bloom. Simply cut with a strimmer or shears twice a year - easy!

5. Create seed-sown flower beds

Grab a bag of pollinator seed mix, and you could be sowing up to 40 species of bee-friendly flowers. Bees will love the mix of flowers - simply dig over the soil in March, remove any weeds, and sow the seed mix in mid April. Pull up any dead stems, shake out the seeds, and dig over after the first frost.

6. Give the bees a drink

Being a bee is thirsty work, and your mini garden visitors will need some drinking water. A pond is ideal, and the single most effective way to attract wildlife into your garden. Keep it stocked with aquatic plants so that the bees can drink from floating vegetation.

Illustration of a bee friendly garden showing a pond, and wildflowers

7. Make a mini meadow

For a bee-friendly solution requiring minimal effort, a mini meadow is the perfect choice. Choose a wildflower meadow or prairie seed mix containing grasses, and sow into weed-free bare soil. This mini meadow only needs cutting once a year, in late summer. What could be easier?

8. Plant a native hedge

Plant a range of native flowering shrubs to creaste a dense, intruder-proof hedge for bees. Bugs will thrive in this protective planting, and birds will also visit your garden for the tasty fruit later in the year.

9. Make yourself a bee bank

If you have any leftovers from the projects above, put them to use by creating a bee bank. Spoil from a pond and turf from a wildflower meadow can be stacked up, left to settle, and sown with wildflowers, ready to entice bees into your garden.

The Bee Book is a beautiful celebration of and introduction to the world of bees, the ways in which we benefit from them, and how we can help them to thrive. With projects for attracting bees to your garden and uses for honey including home beauty remedies, The Bee Book is the ultimate guide to the world of these miniature marvels. 

Buy the book

Buy the book

The Bee Book The Bee Book

Bees are a marvel of nature and vital to human existence. The Bee Book is a great introduction to bees and Read More

Bees are a marvel of nature Read More


Sign up... for the DK newsletter

Sign up to receive emails from DK so you'll be the first to hear about our new books, offers and competitions.

Share this:

Sign up... for the DK newsletter

Sign up to receive emails from DK so you'll be the first to hear about our new books, offers and competitions.

© 2018 Dorling Kindersley Limited. Registered Number 01177822, England. Registered Office: 80 Strand, London, WC2R 0RL. 'Dorling Kindersley', 'DK', 'Eyewitness' and the open book logo DK are trade marks of Dorling Kindersley Limited.
DK Books