New Royal Horticultural Society research identifies that a mix of plants from around the world may be the most effective way to sustain pollinators
• Research reveals a mixture of native and non-native ornamental plants may provide the best resources for pollinating insects in gardens
• Native plants are not always the first choice for pollinators visiting gardens
• Non-native plants can prolong the flowering season providing an additional food source
New research from the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), with support from the Wildlife Gardening Forum, has found that pollinators in the UK do not always prefer native plants in gardens.
The findings, which are the first from the charity’s four-year Plants for Bugs research project, and are published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, suggest that gardeners wishing to encourage and support pollinators should plant a mix of flowers from a wide range of geographical regions.
The Bee Friendly Monmouthshire team set up its stand in the Country Matters area of Monmouth Show alongside Bees for Development, Monmouthshire Meadows, Forest of Dean beekeepers and the Wye Valley Apiaries honeybee observation tent. This area attracted a large number of visitors interested in finding out more about native wild flowers and pollinating insects, not just honeybees but all manner of other bees, beetles and flies. In spite of frequent downpours the Show was well attended and over 50 packets of Monmouthshire Mix wild flower seed were sold.
Stand at Monmouth show.
Our flower quiz proved an attraction not just for visitors testing their knowledge of plants but also for several hungry pollinating insects.
The children’s quiz gave families a chance to study and learn from our information boards and keep out of the rain! Our (abandoned) wasps nest constructed in a blue tit nesting box was quite a hit with the children, most of whom had never seen one before.
Visitor to the plant quiz.
Wasps nest in a bird box.
If you missed us at the Monmouth Show we will be at the Usk Show on Saturday September 12th. There will be seeds on sale again- it’s not too late to sow them before the end of autumn – and Bee Friendly Signs to plant in your pollinator-friendly gardens.