Creation and management of pollen and nectar habitats on farmland

  • Published source details Pywell R.F., Meek W.R., Hulmes L. & Nowakowski M. (2010) Creation and management of pollen and nectar habitats on farmland. Aspects of Applied Biology, 100, 369-374.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Plant nectar flower mixture/wildflower strips

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Plant nectar flower mixture/wildflower strips

    A replicated, randomized study from 2005 to 2007 in Warwickshire, UK (Pywell et al. 2010a) found no difference in the number of bumblebees Bombus spp. or bumblebee species between plots sown with ten different flowering plant and grass seed mixtures, but recorded a significant increase in the number of bumblebee individuals and species in sub-plots treated with the grass-specific herbicide propyzamide in 2007. These sub-plots also showed a significant decrease in grass cover (from 45 to 2%) and an increase in the cover of sown wildflowers (from 24 to 56%), bare ground (from 4 to 16%) and undesirable weeds (from 4 to 14%). The number and cover of sown wildflowers decreased over the years in favour of competitive grass species. Ten different seed mixes (three replicates each) were sown in plots (6 x 10 m) in April 2005. The seed mixes contained four to six flowering plant species and one to four grass species sown in different proportions. Plots were cut three times in 2005 and twice in 2006 with cuttings left in place. The grass-specific herbicide fluazifop-P-butyl was sprayed in plots with rye grass nurse crop in April 2006. In November 2006, all plots were split into two sub-plots (3 x 10 m) of which one was sprayed with propyzamide. The percentage cover of vascular plants was recorded in two randomly placed 1 x 1 m quadrats in each plot (2005-2006) or sub-plot (2007) respectively. Bumblebee abundance and diversity were monitored twice each year in late summer 2006 and 2007. These results were also presented in Pywell et al. 2008 but are only reported here.

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