Is this the most expensive bug house in London? This wood pile with holes drilled into the logs to provide nests for solitary bees has been created by Nick Butler, lead gardener for Grosvenor estates. And it is hidden away in a corner of Eaton Square no less.
It represents a shift in how Grosvenor is going to be managing its private squares and gardens in future with pollinators and biodiversity more in mind. Nick says he has wanted to introduce more flowering, pollinator-friendly plants into the gardens since he became the Grosvenor beekeeper. The company received hives as part of the Victoria Business Improvement District (BID) beekeeping initiative and Urban Bees trained Nick and others in the company.
“Horticultural college doesn’t really teach you about bees, but being there physically with the honeybees I thought I should help them and the wild bees out by providing better food for them and habitat for the solitary bees and the bumblebees. I’ve got the whole gardening team involved and the local residents’ garden committees. First and foremost, the gardens have to look good but there is a lot of interest.”
The bees will be very happy with all the Ceanothus , digitalis, mahonias and aliums that are currently being planted. And let’s hope the solitary bees soon take up residence at their exclusive new home.
According to Nick this is just the beginning of an exciting journey Grosvenor is taking to enrich the biodiversity of London.