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Follow our progress as beekeepers, running the nursery, creating our own bee-haven and conducting research into the best plants for bees

Nectar rich seed trials; year 3 preparations

Wildflower mix in foreground; cleared, re-sowed annual mix beyond

Wildflower mix in foreground; cleared, re-sowed annual mix beyond

The objective of this trial is to test some of the seed mixes commonly marketed as being beneficial for bees. The trial is being run over 3 years as some mixes include perennials and others include annuals that may self-seed to renew.

This year we have

  • left 3 of the 5 areas untouched to observe how they perform
  • completely cleared the area previously sown with a mix of annual flowers as it has become apparent that this mix does not self-seed and needs resowing to continue any flowering
  • are in the process of clearing another patch that was mainly annuals after discovering, in the 2nd year, that the perennial component - mainly some clovers - had been completely over-taken by dock and nettles.

Of the 3 untouched areas, all are struggling to keep out the invasive dock, nettles, creeping buttercup and other nasties; its essentially a battle of weeds v. grass. There are some signs of the native flowering plants we wanted to cultivate so we will continue to monitor and form our final report this Autumn.

areas of dock and nettle where the seed mix has failed to compete

areas of dock and nettle where the seed mix has failed to compete

by rosi