What to do for insects in April
Butterflies emerge as temperatures rise and sunshine increases - brimstones, commas and even early cabbage whites in warm spells.
Remember that insects are gardeners’ friends as well as foes! They are natural pest controllers, and will keep each other’s populations down to manageable levels once your garden has got back into a natural balance.
Bee homes are now widely available. Initial reports suggest that nesting boxes for colony-forming bees (such as bumble and honey bees) are not always effective, but homes for solitary bees (such as mason bees), made from tubes and tunnels in boxes, are more successful. They are also attractive. Models with a backing are more successful than those open at both ends. This kind of bee house is easy to make at home. Even a tin can that is filled with straws will do the job. South-facing positions, hanging at chest height or above, are best. Bees usually colonise these homes in spring, hibernating over winter to emerge the following spring. The boxes can be left out over winter, or taken down and stored in a safe place to avoid bees being eaten by predators.