This February Tarmac is spreading the simple message ‘bee kind’ to help raise awareness of the UK’s declining bee population, which is having a hugely negative impact on the environment.
With over 250 species in the UK, bees play a vital role in pollinating more than 180,000 plant species and crops. However, factors like climate change, pesticides, diseases, loss of wildflower meadows and other habitats, are causing a dramatic decline in bee numbers – these pollinators need some love.
To raise awareness of this, Tarmac is running a competition, starting on Valentine’s Day, to win two bee hotels – providing solitary bees with a comfy home, nutritious food, and a refreshing water supply, as well as 10 packets of wildflower seeds to sow at home. The seed mix has been specially designed to attract bees and will help support biodiversity in gardens across the UK. To be in with a chance of winning, visit the Tarmac Twitter page, like the competition post and comment with your best bee pun! Winners will be announced on 19th February 2021.
The support does not stop there, the business is also encouraging its employees to grow their own bee gardens by giving away packs of wildflower seeds with its internal magazine, which will go out to approximately 7,000 employees.
Here are some of Tarmac’s sites across the UK that are working hard to bee-kind:
Tarmac pledges to promote biodiversity at all of its sites. Whether this is through restoring meadows with the use of bee bombs – handmade wildflower seed balls that are packed with thousands of seeds from native wildflower species or installing beehives to create an environment which will attract more bees.
- In 2018, 10 beehives were installed at Panshanger Park in partnership with the Central and South Hertfordshire Beekeepers’ Association.
- More than 2,000 bee bombs have been spread at Halecome quarry, enhancing a whopping 10 hectares of land.
- Cloddach quarry works with the Moray Beekeepers’ Association to encourage school visits to see the hives on site. It teaches the next generation about the importance of bees for our natural environment.
Photo caption: beehives located at Panshanger Park.
Here are a few simple steps which can be taken to provide a suitable environment for bees to thrive at home:
- Attract bees with flowers full of pollen and nectar. In the springtime, this can include bluebells, crocus, daffodils, heather and primroses.
- Refuge for bees is important and different bees will nest in different ways. Solitary bees, as the name suggests, do not form hives or colonies, but seek out individual lodgings. Loose mortar in garden walls can also be used by some species.
- Ground-nesting bees enjoy short grass and bare soil, so leave areas of the lawn short and bare to attract these solitary bees.
- Create a small wildflower patch by avoiding mowing and weeding an area of grass. Less work and great for the bees.
- Create leaf and twig piles for bees to shelter under and leave them undisturbed.
- Avoid using pesticides.
- Create a bee bath. Use a shallow container filled with pebbles and rocks so bees can land and drink water safely without drowning.
- Short on space? Create a herb window box perfect for dinner and bees’ needs. Shrubby herbs like oregano and thyme are attractive to bees, while marjoram and chives work well too. Harvest the herbs you need and leave the flowers for the bees. Some lavender will entice bees too.
This increased connection with nature, as well as the physical benefits that come with tending and growing plants, can help to support mental health and wellbeing, particularly during this challenging period. Whether at work or home, people are finding new ways to connect with and promote nature – with an opportunity to start with a pledge to ‘bee kind’.
For more information on Tarmac and its commitment to the environment, click here.