Bugs and Bees


My allotment plot and garden welcome many species of beneficial wildlife, such as hoverflies, lacewings, bees, ladybirds, butterflies (yes, butterflies are very welcome on my plot!) and lovely little mason bees. I grow plenty of flowers throughout the year to attract them, and my organic approach to gardening ensures there will always be food in the form of juicy aphids.

ladybird in a bug box

Providing bee and bug boxes in your garden helps to attract the good guys too, these safe hidey places are essential for surviving cold winters and reproduction with certain species.

bee on salvia flower


Mason bees visit my plot to use the bee boxes as nests to reproduce, I find it fascinating to watch females carrying mud to seal the entrance to a nesting tube. In turn, they pollinate my fruit bushes and most probably my plot neighbours too.

Comma butterfly

Some of my boxes were purchased or gifted, and some were made using scraps of wood nailed together to form a box and filled with hollowed out bamboo canes. Online gardening shops and garden centres sell bee or bug boxes, I recently picked up a couple of nice examples from Waitrose and Poundstretcher stores.

bee and bug box

I re-painted the Waitrose bee box (pictured above right) using a tester pot by Cuprinol Garden Shades (country cream).

bee and bug boxes collage

I’m planning to make a bug ‘hotel’ using stacked pallets and other materials inserted into the gaps between each pallet. Now is a great time to provide some shelter for our helpful beasties, they’ll repay your favour by munching on the bugs you really don’t want on your veg. And, if you’re really lucky, you might just see mason bees nesting in your boxes from late April onwards.

32 thoughts on “Bugs and Bees

  1. They’re such a good idea. I shall have a look the next time I’m passing a Poundstretcher – the ones in the local garden centre are a bit pricey. You’ve taken such beautiful photographs, I know how difficult butterflies can be to capture. The bee in the sun is especially beautiful.


  2. Great photos. We garden for wildlife at home and have wildlife gardens on our allotment community gardens. Both are full of insect homes from little clumps of hollow stems up to a 5 feet tall hotel made by our junior gardeners. Can I ask a big favour. I am doing a PowerPoint for a wildlife gardening talk which I am going to give to a garden club in January. Is there Abu chance I can use any of your photos if I give you credit. Cheers


  3. Good luck with building your Bug Hotel. I’ve seen some brilliant examples at Gardeners World Live and the National Wildflower Centre this year. You are welcome to have a look at the photos on my blog for a bit of inspiration. Gillian


  4. I was just reading today about the decline in bee numbers around the world and thought it’d be cool to encourage more to my garden, especially since my veggies are doing so well


  5. I’ve seen the bug boxes at Waitrose and Poundstretcher but wasn’t sure where was best to site them – up high in a tree, on a wall? Would love some advice on this, Karen. Great photos, as usual, always a visual treat to come over here! Caro x


  6. Thank you Caro for your lovely comment, much appreciated and I’m happy to help with your question. I site bee boxes in a position that receives early morning sun, on a tree, post, wall or shed for example. Mason bees are fascinating to watch, I hope your boxes get a visit next spring x


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