Solitary bees, as their name suggests, make individual nest cells for their larvae, using small tunnels or holes in dead wood, crumbling stone or the hollow stems of dead plants. So, for these bees, we created areas of rubble and built piles of logs, both of which offer attractive nesting sites.
At the western edge of the site, along the bund that will support the railway tracks, we have planted a continuous woodland corridor. This includes native species, such as Bird Cherry (Prunus padus), Field Maple (Acer campestre) and Crab Apple (Malus sylvestris), which provide both forage and potential nesting sites.
Across the site, we have sowed wildflower seed - with different mixes designed to suit the various ground conditions. But, in every case, the wildflowers have been chosen to provide the best possible forage for the bees. During the summer, the area around the new distribution hub is a riot of colour with flowers such as Cowslip (Primula veris), Red Campion (Silene dioica) and Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria), Wild Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) and Meadow Buttercup (Ranunculus acris).