Blooms for Bees

Blooms for Bees

Pesticides

Bumblebees feeding on teasel. Judith Conroy.

Insecticides that are used to control pests like aphids are also harmful to bees. Though many of these pesticides do not kill bees immediately, they can affect their ability to feed and navigate, and will ultimately result in the early death of individuals and the weakening of colonies. Combined with habitat loss, more unpredictable weather and a changing climate, pesticide use places an additional stress on bees.

By gardening without the use of pesticides, and by sourcing plants and seeds with care, we can help minimise bees’ exposure to these substances.

Natural pest control

The most effective way to control garden pests is to encourage a naturally diverse, functioning ecosystem, which will include the predators of those creatures that we regard as ‘pests’. Incorporate a wide range of habitats and different plant species to create a healthy garden, where the natural balance is struck and no single species reaches such a population that is becomes a ‘pest’.

Ladybird larva eating aphids. Judith Conroy.

Aphids predated by parasitoid wasps. Judith Conroy.

Use pesticide free plants and seeds

The Blooms for Bees Border at Ryton Organic Gardens.

The Blooms for Bees Border at Ryton Organic Gardens.

Many plants, bulbs and seeds for sale in garden centres, nurseries and from online suppliers are treated with pesticides, including neonicotinoid insecticides, so always ask before you buy.

A few suppliers offer organically certified plants and there is an increasing range of organic seed available. When creating the Blooms for Bees border at Ryton Organic Gardens, we were able to obtain a good range of organically certified plants from Caves Folly Nurseries and Bee Happy Plants as well as organic seeds from The Organic Gardening Catalogue.

Find organically certified plant and seed suppliers

Use our  list of organic plant suppliers, certified by the Soil Association and ask local plant nurseries whether they treat their plants with pesticides – a growing number are choosing to grow to organic standards, although they may not be certified or advertise as such.

Blog posts

To find out more about pesticide free gardening, take a look at our relevant blog posts.

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