We're delighted to announce an exciting new charity partnership between The British Blanket Company and the Bee Friendly Trust. From April to July 2018, The British Blanket Company will donate £1.50 from the sale of every full-size blanket in the Beehive collection to help create a world where honeybees can thrive.
We caught up with Emma Pritchard from the Bee Friendly Trust to learn more about the charity's work and find out how we can all help honeybees in our gardens.
The Bee Friendly Trust works with railway authorities, volunteers and schools to provide a network of flowering habitats for honeybees. We do this by building planters and creating mini orchards on railway station platforms, solar farms and other unloved land. We fill the planters with bee-friendly flowers to form pollinator corridors across urban centres and beyond.
Honeybee numbers have been steadily declining in the UK, mainly due to habitat loss, climate change, toxic pesticides and disease. Yet without them, around a third of the food we eat wouldn’t exist. The good news is that there are plenty of simple steps you can take to support bee populations in your area – whether you have a garden or just a simple window box.
1 | PLANT BEE-FRIENDLY FLOWERS
There are around 270 different species of bee in the UK alone and each one is active at different times of the year. Planting with a range of flowering seasons in mind will not only give you constant colour but provide forage sources and shelter for bees. Honeybees love flowering herbs, fruit trees and evergreen plants such as abelia and ivy.
2 | GARDEN ORGANIC
Chemical pesticides can poison bees and other wildlife, as well as potentially harming humans too. Instead, manage pests with the natural practice of companion planting: lavender helps to deter aphids; calendula repels whitefly, borage prevents tomato hornworm and thyme will keep roses free from blackfly.
3 | PROVIDE A WATER SOURCE
Being a bee is thirsty work. Bees need water to make food for their young, as well as using it to keep their hive cool and humid. Leave out a shallow bucket or saucer to catch rainwater and float corks or leaves on the top to give bees something to land on.
4 | SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL BEEKEEPER
Chemicals on the nectar and pollen of plants can be carried back to the hive, so they could eventually end up on your toast! Know exactly where your honey has come from by buying from an independent beekeeper. Opt, too, for raw honey (much of the honey available in supermarkets is pasteurised and processed) to maximise the nutritional content.
5 | GIVE BEES A HOME
Bees love sheltering in clover, dandelions and long grass but, if leaving areas of your garden wild isn’t for you, build them a bee hotel instead. Simply fill a wooden box or old plastic drinks bottle with hollow twigs, bamboo canes, pine cones and drilled logs. The best bit? Other pollinating insects will love it, too.
From 18th April to 18th July 2018, The British Blanket Company will donate £1.50 from every full-size blanket sold from the Beehive collection to the Bee Friendly Trust. Each donation will go towards continuing the charity’s vital work in creating a nationwide network of habitats for bees and other pollinators. Order your Beehive blanket online with free UK delivery.
[Bee hotel photograph courtesy of The Bee Friendly Trust]