From Buglife & PTES
AS WE progress through summer, we often experience periods of drought. Travellers are warned to carry bottles of water with them on the London Underground, bird baths are regularly filled and fields, allotments and gardens watered to keep plants growing. Spare a thought, though, for bees, butterflies and others bugs as they too need to drink. Providing that drink is, in fact, ever so easy to do.
Sink a plant saucer into the ground so that the edge is virtually flush with the soil. This enables easy access for those bugs who cannot fly. Partially fill the saucer with pebbles. This has two big advantages as it provides a way out of the water for bugs that fall in and reduces the rate of evaporation. Then fill the saucer to the brim with water and you have created the perfect bug drinking trough. Just remember to keep topping it up or it will run dry in really hot weather.
June is also one of the best months for wildflower shows, so food for pollinators is in
abundance in our gardens and on common land. Many flowers will extend their flowering season provided they are regularly dead headed, but this is also the time to think ahead to be sure that as we move through July and into August and beyond that there will still be sufficient food for all of our pollinator friends.
Thistles and their relatives are good lateseason flowers, as are Michaelmas daisies, tansy and yarrow. Sadly, late flowering pansies are of little value to pollinators as they do not require pollination and so provide no rewards. Buddleia is also a great late-season source of nectar for butterflies, although it is also an extremely invasive coloniser and it is best to deadhead before seeds set. This also leads to secondary and even tertiary flowering of the cut stems.
The red-headed cardinal beetle (Pyrochroa serraticornis)
The pinewood mason bee (Osmia uncinata)