At Gratte Brothers, we are putting environmental protection and preservation at the top of our agenda. This reaches every corner of our business, so, at head office we have recently installed five new ‘bee hotels’ and several planters of wildflowers to improve the biodiversity and ecology of our lovely outdoor space beside the canal.
The five new bee hotels installed at Regent’s Wharf cater for solitary bees. Solitary bees, such as mason bees, account for the majority of our British bee species. Sadly, they are under threat from habitat loss as humans build on or destroy their homes – riverbanks and soft cliffs, for example – which are grassed or concreted over. These bees are extremely important for pollination, and with the ability to stay active in colder temperatures and even pollinate plants that bumblebees and honeybees aren’t able to, they are key to maintaining our ecosystem.
Put simply, the impact of a decreasing bee population is enormous. No bees means no plants, which in turn impacts our food supplies, raw materials, medicines, air quality and endless wildlife food chains. Habitat loss and climate change make it even more vital to preserve our environment through strengthening our pollinator population. Solitary bees, as the name suggests, don’t live in colonies but live alone. As they don’t have anything to protect, they have no reason to be aggressive, meaning they are not likely to sting. The female bees will find an individual nest to lay eggs which are left to hatch and mature by themselves, and this is exactly what our bee hotels are for.
We are also planting some wildflowers nearby, which are the perfect habitat for pollinators and will encourage them to nest here.
If you’re feeling inspired to help the bees, here are a few easy things you can do at home:
- Leave a patch in your garden un-mown! Allowing more wildflowers to grow will encourage pollinators and beneficial wildlife into your garden.
- Install some bee nesting tubes or make a bee hotel. Either grouped or placed individually.
- Add a bee brick to your garden (Why Bee Brick? (greenandblue.co.uk))