Hardly any insects in my garden

I am worried about the lack of insects in my garden. I have four lavender plants in flower and have only seen two bees on them when years back they would have been alive with buzzing noises. I live near agricultural land and I am wondering if they have been heavily sprayed. I don't use any harmful sprays and try to garden organically. ????

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Posts

  • Mary370Mary370 Limerick, Ireland Posts: 525

    I've noticed a considerable lack of bees this year, I have lots of plants which are usually buzzing and moving due to the amount of bee activity.  I read an article a few weeks ago and it said that there is widespread spraying of plants being sold at garden centres and supermarkets, all very worrying really.

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,220

    To mitigate the damage done locally, try a nectar bar for insects,  single flowers with lots of nectar, a variety from Spring to Autumn, and most important , habitats for those insects to hibernate, bug houses etc. Try not to be too tidy.

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • Pete8Pete8 Posts: 2,908

    I've got a patch of veronicastrum and agastache - the flowers are dripping with bees all day long

  • B3B3 Posts: 5,126

    Wild marjoram is good too. If you can't get hold of it, get cultivated marjoram or oregano and let it go to seed then Bob'syeruncle.

    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,618

    And in late summer ... sedums, especially Sedum Spectabile ......... never fails to attract insects of all sorts image

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • Victoria SpongeVictoria Sponge WearsidePosts: 2,405

    How alarming, I would be most concerned especially as you garden in a wildlife friendly way...

    You could try getting in touch with your local bee-keepers association with regards the farmers spraying. I recently got to meet the Newcastle and Tyne and Wear beekeepers associations and I'm sure they had an initiative with local farmers where the spraying was done at night or else beekeepers were warned in advance so the honeybees could be kept inside.

    Ignorantly I thought the beekeepers would be all about the honeybee and their own industry but I was wrong and found they have interest in all pollinators and have various projects and initiatives to help bees. For example, I believe Tyne and Wear is trying to create a continuous green belt in the region by encouraging the planting of fruit trees etc.

    Personally I suspect many bumblebee nests are disturbed or destroyed by people uncomfortable with having them in their gardens or near their homes...

  • daydaisydaydaisy Posts: 364

    I have a bug hotel in my Rowan tree and grow most of the plants mentioned plus loads of poppies

    which are usually popular with hover flies and bees. The only positive 

    thing I can think of to say is that my three apple trees are loaded with fruit so there must be some 

    insects about to have pollinated the flowers. The idea of contacting bee keepers is a good thing to do 

    and I will do something about that. 

  • Mary370Mary370 Limerick, Ireland Posts: 525

    Fidgetbones..........no worry there, I could never be accused of being too neat or tidy, around the garden or house image

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,618

    As you've obviously had bees around earlier in the year, this may be a temporary blip ... perhaps there's something else blooming at the moment in your area which is more attractive to bees than your lavender ... some Lime trees in blossom perhaps, or several acres of field beans which would be blooming just now ...... bees can't resist them! 

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • pbffpbff Posts: 379

    Have a look at the Bumblebee Conservation Trust website, if you haven't already

    http://bumblebeeconservation.org/

    I am a member of the BBCT - the newsletter that they produce has many interesting facts about the plight of bumblebees and other pollinators, including the impact of agrochemicals and also lots of advice about planting for bees.

    Locally, we are fortunate to have a good bee population, probably due in part to the surrounding farmland all being grazing and not arable.

    Our garden is planted with a diverse range of native and non-native plants to attract pollinators, starting with crocuses early in the spring and going right through to autumn with late-flowering single-flowered roses, dahlias and sedum.

    Species that we see regularly include: White-Tailed Bumblebee, Buff-Tailed Bumblebee, Garden Bumblebee, Early Bumblebee, Red-Tailed Bumblebee, Common Carder Bee and Tree Bumblebee, honeybees and solitary bees. We sometimes see cuckoo bumblebees as well.

    Top favourite plants in our garden throughout the year are: comfrey, hellebores, daffodils, crocuses, Anemone blanda, bluebells, Aubrieta, Primula species (including cowslip), foxgloves, apple blossom, Pieris, Aquilegia, Centaurea montana, Lamium, herbaceous geraniums (especially Geranium phaeum 'Samobor' which all the bees adore, G. x magnificum which the honeybees favour and G. pratense 'Splish Splash' which the Tree Bumblebees love), Geum, Heucheras (especially 'Marmalade'), single and semi-double roses, single and semi-double Dahlias, Delphinium, Lupins, Sweet Peas, Echinops, Linaria, Cerinthe major, thyme, mint and lemon balm, amongst many others.

    Last edited: 07 July 2017 10:35:59

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