Key actions for improving resources for bees on the farm, croft or garden
We have listed the key action points for improving resources for bees on your farm, croft, or garden. This is of great importance not only for beekeepers and bee farmers, but also for landowners, farmers, crofters, or neighbours as everyone can contribute to creating bee-friendly environments, habitats and resources for bees and other pollinators.
- Sow a wildflower or pollen and nectar mix to provide food
- Provide legume and herb-rich temporary grass to provide enhanced food supplies and habitats
- Avoid spraying or adding fertiliser to cereal headlands
- Uncultivated field corners create habitats for pollinators
- Provide fertiliser free permanent pasture
- Reduce the use of spring herbicide use on land to encourage a diverse range of non-competitive weeds in the crop
- Provide widespread and varied flowering plants,
- The right types of plants (some flowers are the wrong shape for bees to access and some do not produce enough pollen or nectar).
- Aim for food early in the year (when colonies are established) and later in the year (when pollinators are preparing for hibernation).
- Managing hedgerows to boost flowering of hawthorn and blackthorn before other pollen and nectar sources are available by trimming on a two or three-year rotation.
- Look after existing flower-rich areas, such as any areas of less improved grassland
- Increase plant diversity sown in grass leys on areas such as headlands or where there will be short runs when mowing
- Alternatively, establish small flower-rich areas through encouraging native plants on less fertile grassland areas or cultivating margins to stimulate germination of arable plants in the seed bank
- Plant good/high-value nectar source trees where the landscape is suitable, see table below for examples
One of the most important aspects is the provisioning of food sources and habitats for honeybees. To find out more about management practices and how to increase honeybees on your farm and crofts please find further information below. Land use techniques, habitats and food resources that benefit wild pollinator also apply to honeybees.
Other useful information about beekeeping and bee farming
- How to increase wild pollinators on your farm
- Manage pollinators such as honeybees
- Pollinator management for your farm business
- The Scottish Beekeepers’ Association
- Thinking about becoming a beekeeper
- Bee Farmers Association
- What is bee farming?
- What is beekeeping and its history
- Technical advice from the Scottish Beekeepers’Association
- BeeConnected: Connecting beekeepers & farmers
- BeeBase: Info resource for UK beekeepers
- The British Beekeepers Association
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