December might seem like an odd month to be gardening for bees. After all the solitary bees and bumble bee queens are tucked up hibernating until the spring, and the honeybees are clustered inside their hives. Or are they?
There’s been a lot of social media posts recently advocating making bee feeders and leaving out sugar water for bees. For lots of reasons this is a really bad idea (please see previous blog https://www.thelittlehoneybeecompany.com/blog/read_185365/why-leaving-sugar-water-out-for-bees-is-such-a-bad-idea.html ).
Sugar water will give bees a quick energy boost so is still good to revive a tired bee, but it doesn’t meet all their nutritional needs. They need nectar and pollen, both of which are provided by flowers in varying quantities. That means bees are vegetarian.
(Solitary bee on fleabane)
We all know bees eat honey. But do they?
There are approximately 280ish different types of bee in the UK. Only one of them is the honey bee. 26 are bumble bees and the others are all solitary bees.