Tag Archives: bees

Easy Crafts: Make your own Manchester Bee

This month we’ve been busy getting ready for Didsbury in Bloom. We’ve been sprucing up our front garden and helping to build a bug hotel on our road. This year Didsbury in Bloom celebrates our connection to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) which was founded in the village and we’ve been learning about how we can help encourage birds and bugs into our gardens. 

We have plans to build our own bug hotel and we are collecting the materials we will need to put it together. We’ve also been searching in our garden to see what bugs we could find, with all the rain lately we’ve seen a lot of slugs and snails!

Rather fittingly, this month Craft Merrily have challenged the Bostik Bloggers to create a creepy crawlies craft. I wanted to do something simple, and knowing I had some kids to entertain on a play date, I sketched up these templates, one of a Manchester Bee and the other, a butterfly. I then printed them out and set the boys to work.Easy Crafts: Decorating Butterflies & Bees

To make and decorate your butterfly and Manchester Bee  you will need –

Templates printed out – they’re sturdier if printed on card
Colouring pens
Glitter or other embellishments
Bostik fine & wide glu pen
String or ribbon
A hole punch
Scissors

Download these templates for FREE here.

Easy Crafts: Make your own Manchester Bee decorations

Method –

This is a ridiculously easy craft. Just set the kids to work decorating the butterflies and bees however they like given the colouring in materials you have, then get the kids to embellish them however they like.

Easy Crafts: Make your own Manchester Bee decorations

I encouraged the boys to colour them in first, then to scatter glitter and stick on the paper flowers however they liked best. They came up with some lovely creative ideas, but my favourite was the yellow and black Manchester Bee.

Once they’re decorated how you want them to be, I’d leave them to dry for a few hours before cutting them out, or getting a grown up to cut them out for you.

Easy Crafts: Make your own Manchester Bee decorations

To turn them into tree decorations; using the hole punch, make a hole in one of the wings and thread through some string, tying a knot in the string to form a  loop. I think these would make really great bunting too, just punch two holes in and thread the string though each hole to hang it on the bunting.

Easy Crafts: Make your own Manchester Bee decorations

As you can see, they look really effective and several of the neighbours have commented how lovely they are. They’re not rain-proof, but they are quite fun to hang out on sunny days, especially when the Didsbury in Bloom judges are walking past.

Easy Crafts: Make your own Manchester Bee decorations

What other crafts can you think of to make with these Manchester Bee and butterfly templates?

Easy Crafts: Make your own Manchester Bee decorations

Note: I am a Bostik craft blogger and I was sent the materials to create this craft from Craft Merrily. 

Check out my other craft tutorials here!

Gardening: How to encourage bees and butterflies

Now that the first of the spring bulbs have started to peep through, my thoughts have turned to planning what to do with the garden this year. We’ve worked hard over the last five years on our derelict garden and we’ve built raised beds, laid a lawn, tended neglected trees and planted it up almost from scratch. We’ve had a “let it grow” policy the last few years, waiting for some of the small shrubs we’ve planted to fill out so we could get a better feel for what we wanted, and what we want is more colour and to do more to attract bees and butterflies.

I know from our visits to a lavender farm in Devon that bees and butterflies can’t get enough of the purple stuff, I love it too especially when planted in lavender hedges it looks so effective. It does need a gentle pruning every year though. When it comes to garden design I’m no expert, but I think blocks of colour look great and I don’t like to see bare soil, it seems such a waste.

I’m not very good with planting seeds, so I prefer to buy small plug plants and pot them on into my little greenhouse and then plant them out. Not wanting to let the grass grow under my feet (excuse the pun) I’ve already ordered my plug plants for this year, focussing on what I think will look good and what should attract the bees and butterflies to my little patch. I have plans to order…

Spring flowering…
⇒ Primroses
⇒ Bluebells
⇒ Foxgloves

Summer flowering…
⇒ Lavender
⇒ Marigolds
⇒ Dahlias
⇒ Geraniums

Autumn flowering…
⇒ Asters
⇒ Sunflowers
⇒ Sedums

We already have some of these in the garden, I love sedums for autumn colour and the birds seem to like them too. We’ve always been cautious foxgloves given their poisonous reputation, but the boy is beyond the plant eating stage, we have no pets to worry about and they are very beautiful.

bees and butterflies

Given the struggles that bees are facing these days, I’m very happy to do what I can to help them survive and thrive and it’s always a pleasure to see butterflies fluttering into the garden and appreciating my planting scheme. What will you be planting this year to make your garden bee friendly?

= In collaboration with Homify =