Although there’s little gardeners can do to combat many of the problems facing bees today, here at Jelson Homes we would love to encourage our home owners to do their bit in planting more nectar-rich flowers in their gardens, along with making plots more bee friendly. Here are a few tips to get started over the summer: The right plants to attract bees Finding the right plants to attract bees is easy – there are simply thousands to choose from. In general, old-fashioned, English cottage-garden-style plants or native varieties with simple single flowers are best for bees, as they tend to contain more pollen and nectar than exotics or plants with complex blooms. Roses, clematis, hollyhocks, geraniums, eupatorium, lavender and edible herbs with flowers, such as thyme, origanum, chives and borage are all ideal. A place to drink Apart from adding the right plants, there are other ways for gardeners to help bees. Although we add water to the garden to attract aquatic wildlife or to provide a drink for birds and mammals, this will also benefit bees. Like all creatures, they need to drink and a pond, bog garden, water feature or even a bird bath will provide them with much-needed moisture. Bee houses Lucy Drexler from www.lrbka.org said: “There are around 250 different types of bee in the UK. Twenty four of these are bumble bees and there is one species of honey bee, but the rest are solitary bees. It’s vital to protect these important insects in the hope that one day their numbers will start to increase. “Creating a bee house is a great past time to do with younger members of the family - consisting of a timber frame stuffed with pieces of bamboo cane, they’re a valuable place for a female solitary bee to place a portion of pollen inside the tubular hole of a cane in spring and lay a single egg on top of it before sealing up the entrance with mud. The eggs hatch into larvae, which will feed on the pollen until new bees emerge the following spring.”