While the everyday gardener may not know a lot about the benefits of bees, self-proclaimed “beevangelist” Doug Purdie’s new book The Bee Friendly Garden seeks to shed some light on our five-eyed friends.

Despite the bad wrap they often get, bees are an extremely important part of our garden’s ecosystem, working as pollinators to keep our flowers blooming and our home’s exterior bright and full of life. Unfortunately, bee numbers the world over are dwindling as garden designs are increasingly factoring in lawns, paving and pesticides instead of flowers and edible plants. Urban environments are typically havens for bees as each new flower is only a short flight from the next, but with garden designs creating potholes in the ‘pollinator highway’, bees are at risk of becoming marooned and isolated and, in turn, the colour in our gardens is at risk of fading considerably.

Drawing from his own experience as co-founder of Sydney’s Urban Beehive, which manages over 100 hives in New South Wales’ capital, Purdie’s new book aims to educate both new and experienced gardeners by providing tips and tricks they can use to create a bee friendly environment. It includes information on how bees forage and why your garden needs them and simple changes we can all make to encourage a healthy bee population.

As a teacher of beginner beekeeping classes and author of Backyard Bees, Purdie hopes his new title will encourage gardeners to provide for the bees and to avoid following the rest of the world into sharp bee declines.

Doug will be touring Australia in September 2016.

Words by Stephen Chinnery
Image via Murdoch Books