To encourage as many species of bee as possible to use your Wildlife Garden there are quite a few ingredients to get right. Understanding the ecology of the large variety of bee species enables you to make sensible gardening decisions. BUT there are over 250 species of bee in Britain, so you are never going to get them all! You can still, however, achieve an amazing variety in a medium-sized urban garden: Roots and Shoots has recorded over 40 species including nationally rare mining bees and the striking violet carpenter bee - just beginning to get a foothold in the UK from the continent. 

Sponsor a bee

Bees thrive in the Wild Garden here at Roots and Shoots. Some species are plentiful but others are only rare visitors. We need to protect them and their habitat, as well as all the other wildlife in our green oasis.

We're raising money for the Wild Garden and the environmental study centre. Please sponsor a bee - for yourself as well as your friends and family.

To sponsor a bee you can either text BEES12 £5 to 70070.

Or you can donate online through our secure MyDonate donation page. Bee sponsorships costs £5. Please enter this amount in the payment box. If you would like to make an additional donation, please add this to the sponsorship cost.


Since 1999 David gradually introduced more opportunities for bee species to breed and thrive - and has devoted a lot of time to observing, recording and assessing the success of different actions. You can see the observations in the spreadsheet of invertebrate records.

The 'Trellick Bee Tower' was constructed in 2010 to help Community Service Volunteers (CSV) to launch their annual "Action Earth" programme. David suggested a tower block of flats for solitary bees - a plan that was overdue for the garden - and we came up with the notion of making it a replica of an actual tower block in London. The Trellick Tower is one of the iconic tower blocks of London - and David was happy with this idea as it was relatively easy to modify the design to cater for bees and their holes! (see and for some responses).

The tower comprises blocks of standard soft wood - untreated - sawn into convenient blocks with the correct proportions to imitate the sections of the Notting Hill tower. These are stacked to form the floors with the balconies represented by lengths of scaffolding plank - the weight of these help to hold the blocks in place. There are no screws or bolts in the structure - individual 'apartments' can be removed for display/teaching or replaced when needed. The right hand vertical in the flats is a thick, sturdy piece of timber that had beena round at Roots for a while - in the Wildlife Garden this has been sunk into the ground - and the black horizontal bands you can see along the 'balconies' of the scaffolding planks are nylon straps that help bind the structure together. The lift shaft section of the replica is a tall, hollow box. Holes are drilled in the front of this box in the same pattern as the lift shaft windows and inside the box are translucent tubes. By opening the side panel it is possible to watch solitary bees enter their tubes to deposit food, lay their eggs and seal up the nest. The holes drilled in the blocks were made using a 'full set' of bits - ie there are holes in three main size groups - around 2mm; from 4-6mm and from 8-10mm. This gives an ample size range for the variety of bee species to be expected.

Bees recorded on the Trellick Bee Tower include: Osmia bicornis, Osmia leaiana, Osmia caerulescens, Megachile willughbiella, Megachile centuncularis, Heriades truncorum, Hylaeus signatus and Anthidium manicatum (above right).

Return to Environmental Education

Visiting the garden

 School visits
Boost your student's education with a tailored class visit and teaching resources, including for those with Special Educational Needs
 Public visits
Arrange a visit to the garden or find an open day

Our Biodiversity

Our invertebrate population - those minibeasts and bugs - is wide and varied.
 Apples and Apple Day
Apples and Apple have been a big part of Roots' life since 1999.
 Plants and Trees
There are many fine trees at Roots and Shoots and we try to create interesting planting throughout the site.
 Meadows Bees Vertebrate Records
Click on the pdf below to see records of our birds and amphibians.

How to find out more

  Call us on 020 7587 1131