Bees are incredible creatures and are super important to a huge range of plants including fruits and vegetables. Bees transfer pollen between male and female plants, allowing them to grow seeds, fruit and reproduce. Without this, many plant species would simply die out.
To protect food crops from destructive insects, diseases and other biological threats, the widespread use of pesticides and insecticides is common. These chemicals, which are also widely used in wood preservatives and other types of wood treatments, along with changing environmental conditions and the loss of natural habitats such as wild flower meadows, have been implicated in the decline of bees and other pollen transferring insects. This has led to a dramatic decline in bee and other pollen carrying insect numbers, with some studies suggesting that they are down by a third in just the last 10 years.
Wood care v Bee care
Garden sheds, decking and fence panels are costly, so it makes sense to give them the best possible protection from weathering and biological threats, including wood boring insects. The good news is that there are wood care products that will do this whilst being safe for bees and other beneficial insects.
Not only is this good for gardeners and bees but it’s also great for beekeepers, giving them an opportunity to protect and extend the lives of beehives without endangering the bees within.
Bee friendly wood care treatments
Top of the list and certainly the most controversial type of wood treatments are wood preservatives. These products are designed to be toxic to biological life including mould, algae, fungi and wood boring insects, the biggest and most common threats to interior and exterior wood.
Bee & insect friendly wood preservers
Barrettine Wood Protective Treatment is a great product that protects wood, yet is friendly to beneficial insects such as bees.
Insect friendly wood oils
Once preserved, any wood and especially exterior wood should be protected with a top coat. The top coat seals in the wood preservative which in turn extends how long it remains effective for, usually around 5 years or more. Wood oils offer excellent protection against weathering, are easy to apply and maintain, and will never crack, flake or peel off like old paints and varnishes. Wood oils are also highly versatile and can be used on most types of wood. The following Osmo wood oils are all classified as being safe for bees once fully dry.
- Osmo UV Protection Oil 410 | A clear, UV protection oil for exterior wood
- Osmo Country Colour | An opaque, coloured oil finish for exterior wood
- Osmo Decking Oil | A range of highly durable clear and colour decking oils
- Osmo Anti Slip Decking Oil (430) | A durable, clear anti-slip decking oil
Insect friendly shed and fence stains
Colouring a garden shed or fence with a paint or stain is now very much in. Traditional shades of brown and green although still popular are being replaced with vibrant or pastel colours including blues, greens, pinks, yellows and about every other colour in between. The following garden paints and stains will provide all the colour you need without endangering beneficial insects or bees. Perfect!
- Protek Stable Coat | Water-based treatment for animal enclosures and more
- Protek Royal Exterior Paint | Opaque, coloured wood paint for garden wood
- Protek Royal Exterior Stain | Opaque, wood stain for garden sheds and more
So there you have it, 3 great ways to protect garden wood whilst doing your part to protect bees and other beneficial insects.
Need help with environmentally friendly wood care?
Our team of resident wood care experts are pretty clued up on a wide range of environmentally friendly wood finishes for both interior and exterior wood. If you have a question about a project or a product and would like free, expert advice, you can contact us here.
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