TAWNY MINING BEE
Tawny mining bees are common nationally, but they can only thrive in places where their habitat is protected. In Wanstead, the sunny, grassy areas the bees need to nest are under pressure from the paving of gardens, use of artificial grass, and building and development. Bees are thought to be at risk from climate change because rising temperatures can disrupt the synchronization between when the insects emerge and the flowering of their food
plants. Wild bees in cities compete with urban honey bees for early season forage. The growing numbers of urban bee hives means that we should be providing more early and diverse flowering plants and shrubs to support our wild bees. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the population of tawny mining bees in urban Wanstead has declined, although there is a stable population in Wanstead Park.
HOW TO HELP
If you see nests in your garden or the park, leave them be. These bees love to nest in managed lawns or flower beds. The small mounds typically only last for a few days or
weeks every year and do no lasting damage to lawns.
Plant the spring-flowering shrubs and flowers that tawny mining bees love, such as salvia, galanthus, echinacea, cosmos, verbena, willow, raspberries, fruit trees and wildflowers. There are varieties for gardens of all sizes, and many can easily be grown in tubs.
Never use pesticides or weedkillers in your garden. Instead, aim to attract lots of different wildlife to keep things in balance, using biological pest control if necessary. Lobby the council to stop spraying pesticides around our streets.
Lift plastic grass / paving slabs and replace with a lawn. Go no-mow in May to encourage dandelions and buttercups.
In a south-facing part of your garden, construct a small earthy bank – the perfect real estate for a variety of different wild bees to build their nest holes.
Reduce light pollution by ditching unnecessary night lights in your garden - it is thought to be contributing to the dramatic decline in insects.