Bungay Garden Centre goes Bee-Friendly!

This week, Bungay Community Bees (BCB) launched their “Get Your Garden Buzzing” garden centre project, at Bungay’s own Three Willows Garden Centre.

It has taken a couple of years from my comment “how do we help people know which plants are bee friendly?” for this project to become reality. It could not have happened without the knowledge and effort of Rose (BCB) and Gaz (Three Willows Garden Centre) in particular. So, thanks guys!

By looking for yellow bee-friendly plant labels, customers can now easily find a wide range of bee-friendly plants to grow in their gardens to provide year-round nectar and pollen for our endangered bees and other pollinating insects. The garden centre also has a year-round ‘bee-friendly’ plant display, incorporating a “Get Your Garden Buzzing” wall panel, with top tips on Creating a Bee Friendly Garden. Leaflets with the same information will shortly be available at the checkout and we are currently working on transferring it to the website as well.

As Rose said: “Over 2/3rds of our bees and pollinating insects are in decline. In an arable area like this, there’s no longer wildflower or habitat diversity on most of our farms – and so declining populations of honeybees, native bees and pollinating insects are turning to our gardens in order to find the year-round food, water and habitats necessary for nesting and hibernating.

We can help them at this time by planting drifts of pollen and nectar-rich plants in sunny places in our gardens, allowing a few wildflowers to grow in sunny corners, mowing our lawns less often to allow lawn-weeds to flower, putting up bug hotels, making habitat piles from logs, twigs and leaves and avoiding use of neonicotinoid pesticides.”

Liz Watts from Three Willows Garden Centre commented on how happy they are to be the first garden centre to join the “Get Your Garden Buzzing” project. As she said, it’s important to encourage people to grow bee-friendly plants throughout the year. To their pleasure the garden centre has already received praise and appreciation for their ‘bee-friendly’ display and comprehensive bee-friendly labeling system.

The “Get Your Garden Buzzing” project, offers garden centres ‘bee-friendly’ plant stickers, posters, leaflets, laminated lists of all bee-friendly garden plants and an all-weather, large “Create a Bee-Friendly Garden” exterior wall display panel. BCB hopes to encourage garden centres, plant nurseries and gardeners throughout East Anglia to get on board with this project, to help prevent the decline of our native bees and pollinating insects.

In 2009 Bungay Community Bees formed in response to the worldwide decline of honey bees and other pollinating insects. Our aims are to work together to increase the number of honey bees locally, to support bees in our environment and to share our enthusiasm for and knowledge about bees and pollinators.

For further information on the “Get Your Garden Buzzing” project contact Gemma Parker 0754 0724395; for information on Bungay Community Bees contact Elinor McDowall 01986 948154, 07791 495012, bees@sustainablebungay.com, or visit our webpages: http://www.sustainablebungay.com/bungay-community-bees-2/