Gardening presenter Fowler joins Friends of the Earth bee campaign

Amateur gardeners are being urged to create bee-friendly gardens this Easter to help protect bees threatened by habitat loss and climate change.

Gardening presenter Alys Fowler is offering gardeners tips on how to help bees, as part of Friends of the Earth’s Bee Cause campaign to save bees.
 
The environmental charity is calling for the Government’s plan to reverse bee decline, the National Pollinator Strategy, to be "considerably strengthened to tackle all the threats bees face, especially intensive farming and pesticides".
 
More than 20 UK bee species are already extinct and a quarter of those remaining are at risk.
 
Fowler said: "Gardens are becoming one of the most important refuges for Britain’s wild and honey bees, providing chemical-free food, clean water and a place to nest.
 
"The Government must strengthen its plan to protect bees and other pollinators – but gardeners have a key role to play too."
 
Friends of the Earth executive director Andy Atkins said: "Green-fingered gardeners are usually green-minded too, so this Easter we hope they’ll make their gardens bee-friendly to keep Britain blooming and help protect these crucial pollinators.
 
"But we need the Government to take action as well by ensuring its upcoming National Pollinator Strategy is strong enough to protect our bees from all the threats they face."

Fowler’s tips for gardeners include planting nectar and pollen rich flowers, the green manure Lacy phacelia (phacelia tanacetifolia) which when left to flower brings "hordes of bees", allowing coriander and rocket to flower, growing soft fruit, providing a clean source of drinking water and making a ‘bee hotel’ by bundling together some old stems of stuff like Jerusalem artichokes or bamboo canes south west facing out of prevailing winds.

Friends of the Earth is also urging people concerned about the plight of British bees to sign a petition calling on Bees Minister Lord de Mauley to improve the draft National Pollinator Strategy, open for public consultation until 2 May 2014.


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