General information and advice on Bees
Frequently Asked Questions
Bees are particularly attracted to blue, violet, purple white and yellow flowers.
You can buy bumble bee nest boxes but we wouldn’t recommend them. Research has proved that bees prefer to make their own nest. You would be better spending the money on a lavender bush which you won’t be able to keep the bees off or better still plant a lavender hedge. We have them all over the nursery and the bees love them.
Honey bees will be in their hives and the beekeeper will be taking care of them. For other types of bees only the Queen hibernates through the winter. They will normally burrow into the ground for the cold months, emerging in the warmer Spring months to start the hive again.
Instead of a nose, bees have antenna with thousands of tiny sensors that detect smells – just like a nose.
The only food source for any bees are the pollen and nectar contained within the plants. The best advice we can give is to ensure you plants in flower from February right through to November.
Yes they do. A common cause of death in bees is dehydration. Bees can’t use large expanses of water such as ponds as they can’t swim same applies for bird baths. If you want to provide a water source for bees then use a shallow dish and fill with stones or small pebbles. The water will gather in the dish and the bee will be able to land on the stones / pebbles without the fear of drowning. We place many of these around our glasshouse and nursery and the bees love them.
Generally it is only the Queen that will survive the winter so is the only one to return, she will hibernate in the soil emerging in the Spring. Generally a nest will only be used for one year however if the nest is in good condition it may be used year after year.
While bees do not talk to each other they communicate through dances, vibrations and body chemical signals. The scout bees will pass essential information to the workers on new pollen, nectar and water sources.
That really depends on the bee. Honey bees live in hives that are made by the beekeepers so they can collect the honey. Bumble bees will make their own nests and can often be found in sheds under the house and in lofts. Depending on the species will depend how long the nest will be there. Some are as short as a few weeks others will be there all summer. Species like the tree bumble bee will be found in trees and then solitary bees can make nests in bamboo canes and other will nest in the ground.
Unlike wasps, bees will only sting when they sense danger. Bees are attracted to smells and flowers. Dressing children in floral print will attract bees however once they realise the flower is not real they will move on. Avoid strong perfume and suntan lotion or hair products with strong scents. Remember if a bee stings it dies, so it will only do so as a last resort.
Around 20,000 worldwide that are separated into seven families. In the UK we have around 270 species of bees that have been recorded.
Without bees plants will not be pollinated and we would have less flowers. They also pollinate fruit and veg, so if you enjoy growing your own – you need the bees.