National Insect Week 20th – 26th June 2015
The purpose of this week is to remind us of the important role that insects play in our lives. Insects perform many activities that are beneficial to our gardens and the environment as a whole. They’re vital as pollinators which is essential for food crops and flowering plants. They’re also an important food source for animals such as birds, fish and frogs.
Ladybirds are a welcome sight in our gardens as they eat greenfly and other pests.
Another friend to gardeners are ground beetles as they feed on caterpillars, snails and slugs. They are commonly found under logs and debris.
Bees and butterflies
Insect pollination is crucial to gardens. Insects, such as bees and butterflies, fly from flower to flower to collect nectar. In the process, pollen collects on their bodies and rubs off on other flowers that they visit. This fertilizes the flower and the plant will then grow seeds and the fruit around the seeds. Without insect pollination, many food plants that we grow in our gardens can’t complete the pollination process and won’t produce fruits or vegetables.
How can you help?
Stop using insecticides
Many insecticides kill all insects, both bad and good.
Give insects a place to live
Make a ladybird nesting box, a pollinating bee log or a butterfly tower to give insects a home in your garden. Hollow stems, such as old bamboo canes, or holes drilled into blocks of wood make a good nest site for solitary bees.
A natural housing for many species of insect from bees to bugs.
Plant bee-friendly flowers
Try and plant nectar or pollen-rich flowers in your garden. The nectar feeds the adult bee while the pollen is collected to feed the young. The more flowers you have in your garden, the more attractive it is to bees.
For more information about events taking place during the week visit the National Insect Week website.