Planting lots of plants that produce pollen.....lavender, roses, lillies etc.
In my home in Australia I have blue banded bees that visit my garden and to encourage them I hang sticks or canes from branches as they make their hives on long sticks. If you are interested in seeing a picture of my blue banded bees please let me know. They are furry and bright aqua blue.....very very busy little bees and very hard to catch on camera!
It all very much depends on your understanding of bees. Bees are a family (Apidae) within the order hymenoptera, which includes Bees, Wasps and Ants. Most of the concern hangs around the Honeybee and the misunderstood colony collapse disorder (CCD). Beyond concern about the honeybees the plight of the bumblebee (pun intended) is widely commented on but also misunderstood. And then there are the solitary bees, the majority of bee species which get very little attention. There has been a general decline in many species (honeybee, bumblebees and solitary bees) over the last few decades and the cause is likely to be due to a number of factors, and somewhat dependant on species, but includes bee pathogens and disease, poor husbandry, weather, habitat decline, insecticides etc.
Many research groups worldwide are looking at the reasons including many in the USA, where CCD is a reality, as well as the International Bee Research Association in Cardiff. There are also an Europe wide study on pollinators and pollination in generally and the NHM are collaborators in this project.
It is not as gloomy as many media stories report – in fact they are just that ‘stories’. Be (or bee) buoyed up by the fact that a plethora of species are responsible for the pollination of our fruits and vegetables and will continue to do so. In the UK there are over 280 species of bee, though the most people are only familiar with honeybees (a single UK species) and bumblebees (28 UK species). All the rest are solitary species and their pollination efforts are not well studied and go relatively unnoticed. These bees are however the unsung heroes and will undoubtedly be our saviours as far as the pollination of our fruits and vegetables are concerned.
During the spring, summer and autumn months try taking a seat next to flower borders in gardens or parks and take a careful look at the insects that visit the flowers. Look beyond the bumbling bees and honey bees and you will notice many smaller species of bee collecting nectar and pollen, many of them minute, as well as wasps and flies – all of these also contribute to the pollination effort, which is far more complex than the popular press or Einstein would have believed.
Read also: http://tinyurl.com/yjhwd4r
Here are the blue banded bees for you. They were attempting to make their home on some fishing line put up to host a climber and they kept sliding down. I felt really sorry for them as the honey was also dripping down the line (you can see this at the top of the picture) I'm not sure if the image (as it is shrunk for posting) will show it, but if you look closely you can see the top one looking sideways at the camera lens as if to say....Hmmm I've been fooled.
I also managed to photograph the teeny weeny bees that Bambuswhathemacallit has mentioned, (in the UK)
You have to look very closely on the flowers! When I dig the picture up. I will post it.