How to a bee-friendly garden
Together, in partnership with the Natural History Museum we hope to inspire families to tune into nature this summer. We want to share our passion for nature, and in particular, pollinators which is why we've teamed up with the Natural History Museum to celebrate the wonder of nature and the benefits of bee-friendly herbs.
Why are pollinators so important?
We care passionately about conserving pollinators, as they are vital for the health of the planet. The herbs in our tea, which we carefully source from over 50 countries across the world, depend upon pollination by insects such as bees and butterflies. All Pukka teas are made with pollinator friendly organic ingredients. By working together with the Natural History Museum, we aim to inspire people to understand their importance and champion nature.
So how can you create havens for pollinators?
Planting pollinator-friendly plants is a great way to attract wildlife, reconnect to nature and help you and your family feel the joy growing herbs can bring.
Lavender is a fragrant shrub, and is best planted in the Spring once the weather has begun to warm. Lavender loves the sun and thrives in well-drained soils. When planted, it typically blooms throughout the summer, and is loved by all pollinators, especially British butterflies. Lavender helps us to unwind and relax which is why it's used in Pukka's Night Time tea. It's distinctive scent and relaxing properties make it a great plant to be used in your home too. Watch the video below where Holly Huntley from Pukka's herbal education team takes you through how to make your very own lavender shower melts, for when you need that extra bit of self-care.
Mint is great for pollinators such as bees and is really easy to grow in your back garden. Pollinators are attracted to mint when it flowers in summer and early autumn. All you have to do is pop it into a pot to prevent it invading other plants. Adding Mint to drinks is a great way to cool down during a hot summer's day. It's delicious in a tea but also makes a wonderfully refreshing iced drink. Watch the video below to see Pukka's senior herbalist Euan Maclennan put together his cooling mint mocktail, perfect for those long summer evenings.
Pollinators such as butterflies rely on organic herbs like chamomile as a source of nectar. Chamomile is very low maintenance herb and produces many delicate daisy like blooms throughout the summer months. You can even spread the contents of a chamomile teabag over a seed bed to grow your own at home. Renowned for it's relaxing properties and calming effect, chamomile is a great ingredient for those with busy lifestyles. It's frequently used in teas and can be found in Pukka's Three Chamomile, Chamomile, Vanilla and Manuka Honey, Relax and Love teas. We've also teamed up with chef Claire Thompson to make some delicious cookies. Watch the video below to discover Claire's chamomile oat cookie recipe, the perfect treat to enjoy with a cup of tea.
Remember to keep all garden flowers well-watered - this helps the plants to produce more nectar which in turn helps butterflies and other pollinators.
Adopting organic farming principles when growing bee-friendly herbs and flowers at home is key - so avoid the use of chemical pesticides wherever possible. When our team visits a farm, this is one of the first things they are looking to find.
“If you walk into a field and its thriving with wildlife and bees, it gives you a good indication that this really is a good ecological system that’s clean with no pesticides", explains Marin Anastasov, from our herbal sourcing team (not to mention avid bee keeper), "If it was poisoned, these animals are not going to be there.” When things are well with the bees, things are well with Mother Nature.
We hope you discover the joys of planting this season!
Author: Eleanor Jeffrey
Eleanor has a Masters in Chemistry from the University of Manchester and Postgraduate Certificates for Environmental Management (IEMA) and Enterprise, Innovation and the Circular Economy from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (CE100). Eleanor has over 8 years of sustainability experience working for a broad range of organisations in both manufacturing and retail, including start-ups (bio-bean Ltd), consultancy and multinational plcs (Kingfisher). At Pukka, she works to deliver Pukka's climate strategy, targets and commitments across the business.
Years of experience:
8 years in sustainability
Postgraduate Certificates for Environmental Management (IEMA) and Enterprise, Innovation and the Circular Economy from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Masters degree in Chemistry (University of Manchester)