You notice a bee lying on the ground. At first you think it is dead, but then it moves a little? As bees are in decline in many places, you want to help, but what do you do?
Bees are dying all over the world in a terrible phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder. According to the book A World without Bees, bee colonies are being wiped out and nobody is quite sure why, but the possible reasons include pesticides, bee parasites, and climate change, so we need to help the ones we come across.
The RSPB says that hard-working bees get tired, and need a refreshing drink of sugary water. So you could give it a shallow drink on a bottle top or something similar. Of course a bottletop would get washed out by rain, so you would have to keep refilling it.
Bee Station pod in a garden
Wouldn't it be better to have a pit-stop for bees in your garden, so if they get tired and need a sugary pick-me-up to help them get back to their hive, it is already there? That's what inventor Jamie Hutchinson thought. After careful research he created the Bee Station - a pottery bee nesting and refuelling pod that can be put into your flowerbeds. The feet contain shallow reservoirs for the sugary drink and a platform for bees to rest or nest. Modern gardens often do not have enough shady nooks and crannies, according to Hutchinson, so the Beestation will be ideal for solitary bees to set up home and pollinate your garden flowers, if you fill it with straw or dry grass.
The Bee Station took a lot of developing to find the most useful design, but eventually a ball shape with the water reservoirs in the feet and airholes for ventilation were settled on, so that the bees can be warm inside and have fresh air, but rain will run off. It is made in England by an expert pottery company based in Stoke-on-Trent.
Time to make your garden more friendly to bees with these attractive little pods.
Top Photo: Bee collecting pollen by Jon Sullivan.
Link: Bee Station.