It’s Wild About Gardens Week! Wildlife is so important to gardeners, and none more so than pollinating insects.
Flowering plants have male and female varieties. The male plants produce pollen, which is carried over to the female flowers by insects. Once pollinated, the female plant can then produce fruit.
Without pollinating insects, plants would not be able to produce fruit, veg, nuts or seeds. In fact, three quarters of the world’s food comes from plants that are pollinated by insects.
There are over 1500 species of pollinating insect in the UK, including bees, wasps, moths, hoverflies and butterflies. But their numbers are dropping: 46% of European bumblebee species are in decline, and 23 bee and flower-visiting wasp species in the UK have already gone extinct.
But you can help!
There are 15 million gardens in the UK, covering approximately 270,000 hectares. If everyone took a few steps to help pollinators, it could make a real difference to their population numbers, and even save species from extinction!
These insects are vital for your garden plants and the ecosystem. Help them, and they will help you.
How to get involved
There is loads of information on how to help pollinators in their active summer season with pollen-rich plants.
But equally important is giving them a space over winter, as their natural habitats have declined. They need safe, sheltered spots to hibernate and lay their eggs. And you can provide one, no matter what size your outdoor space is.