Last updated on April 3rd, 2023 at 02:22 pm
Bee bombs are small spheres created by mixing together soil, clay and a range of seeds. Bee bombs in particular focus on a range of seeds rich in nectar and pollen to try and provide resources for bees and other pollinators.
Bee bombs, often referred to as seed bombs or bee balls have become very popular recently due to an increase in awareness around the critical part bees play in our ecosystem.
So what are bee bombs?
Essentially a bee bomb is a collection of seeds contained within a growing medium, in this case, soil and clay.
By combining all three of these critical elements for life and growth a bee bomb effectively gives users a way to scatter them with little effort required afterwards.
While this seems to be the main marketing drive behind these products personal experience and a background in gardening do make me question the effectiveness of the method described above.
Different kinds of bee bombs
Looking at all of the bee bombs available on the market today there seems to be a vast range of brands offering different varieties of seeds, sizes and planting mediums.
We’ve tried some of the more popular bee bombs available today and detailed a little bit about each of these producers and what makes them stand out from the crowd.
What do bee bombs look like?
Bee bombs come in several shapes and sizes, some require slightly different planting methods but all will produce fantastic bee-friendly flowers when they bloom.
Different types of bee bomb appearance:
- A simple sphere containing clay, soil and seeds
- Pellets containing clay, soil and seeds.
- Small bee shapes containing clay, soil and seeds (not all of our bee shapes arrived intact but all planted and germinated successfully).
- Seed grenades are made from a starch-based biodegradable material, you can simply submerge the receptacle in water and throw it. The container acts as a germination medium for the seeds within.
Bee bombs were one of the first brands to market their seed infused soil balls directly at bees specifically.
Utilising a mix of 18 wildflower seed species, fine soil and clay sourced from the local area they seem to be working in a way that has very little to no impact on the environment earning them a massive tick from us.
Every single bee bomb is handmade on the family farm and they even collect rainwater on-site to add to the mixture as a binding agent.
Bee Bombs recommends planting in ‘cleared ground’.
This simply means try to sow your Bee Bombs in an area without lots of other developing plants.
Weeds and grasses are fantastic at thriving in the most barren of conditions and when competing against wildflowers these much hardier varieties will win out 9 times out of 10.
Bee Bombs just like normal seeds will need water as well so while it may recommend simply planting and forgetting I would strongly recommend watering areas where you have planted especially during dry sales or unusually hot summers.
Germination and early seedling growth require vast amounts of water so ensuring the ground stays damp will greatly increase your chances of growing thriving wildflowers.
Dispensing bee-friendly seeds has never come in the form of a grenade before but we love Kabloom’s very different take on bee bombs and their transformation into a symbol normally associated with war.
Their birds, bees and butterflies pack is jammed full of wildflower seeds with over 20 species across the 4 bombs.
Kabloom’s bee bombs are all made in the UK with the outer shell being sourced in the Netherlands.
Kabloom has clearly spent some time considering the environmental impact of the vessel containing the seeds as well.
The shell is starch-based, completely biodegradable and compostable and utilises FSC certified cardboard and recyclable glue for all its packaging.
The Kabloom office is based over in Glasgow but they deliver to the whole of the UK.
Seed ball offers a wide range of seeded soil and clay balls for different use cases including specific balls for bees and pollinators.
We’ll be focusing on their bee mix offering a variety of seeds including Birdsfoot Trefoil, Foxglove, Red Clover, Viper’s Bugloss and Wild Marjoram.
Each ball contains between 30-100 seeds to ensure you’ve got the best chance of germination and growth to full maturity.
Interestingly Seed Ball adds a small amount of chilli powder to their mix to try and deter slugs and snails from eating any emerging shoots.
Each tin contains 20 balls all handmade in the UK by the team at Seed Ball and suitable for approximately 1m2 of coverage in your garden, meadow or planting area.
Seedball is a non-profit company with a drive to increase the abundance of UK native wildflowers that swathes of insects and animals depend on.
Blooming Bees bee bombs are a little different because they’re actually shaped like little bees!
While this is very cute it probably won’t help them grow any faster but a nice touch nonetheless.
Available in garden centres across the UK this product has already cemented itself as one of the major bee bomb producers in the UK today.
Each bee bomb is handmade in their studio by Sally.
Pretty Wild Seeds
The team over at Pretty Wild Seeds make some fantastic bee balls based in Durham.
- Field Poppy
- Self Heal
- Purple Loosestrife
- Red Campion
- Great Mullein
- Corn Marigold
- Ox-Eye Daisy
- Birdsfoot Trefoil
- Scentless Mayweed
- Meadow Buttercup
These bee bombs are absolutely filled to the brim with a diverse range of species so if you’re looking for variety these may be the best bee bombs for your needs.
How to plant your bee bombs
A lot of the messaging around bee bombs suggests they’re very much a throw and forget item.
While this can be true simply throwing your bee bombs into some bushes or a patch of dirt will not always produce the desired result.
From personal experience, we found that planting your bee bombs in an inch of highly packed soil is much more effective than simply sowing and hoping.
Regular watering will also help the little seedlings in your bee bombs to flourish and grow.
Avoid trying to grow any bee bombs in areas that have already got a lot of vegetation.
Young seedlings are unlikely to outcompete more mature flora for the nutrients they require to grow and mature.
For the best results, we recommend planting your bee bombs between March and April.
Can you make your own bee bombs?
Yes, you can create your own simple mix of seeds and soil for a homemade bee bomb that you can use yourself or gift to friends.
If you need some help you can use this handy Wildflower Seed Bomb Kit that comes with all the ingredients you need.