Don’t Worry Bee Happy

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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.

bees play a vital role in the life cycle of many plants.
Bees and other insects are vital for the transfer of pollen between plants and food crops

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.

painted bee hives
Painting bee hives with bee friendly wood paints or stains will add colour and protect the hives.

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.

barrettine protective wood treatment safe for bees and other beneficial insects
Barrettine Protective Wood Treatment is formulated to be safe for bees and other beneficial insects.

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.

Beautiful red cabin finished in Osmo Country Colour.

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!

bee safe garden paints and wood stains to protect wood
Choose a garden paint or wood stain that doesn’t contain pesticides such as Protek Royal Exterior wood paints and stains.

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.

We love to see before, during and after photos of any wood finishing project. If you would like to share your project pictures with us and our followers, send us some photos or share on our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram pages.

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