Lucy Rothstein, chief executive of the BBCT said the Trust was delighted to receive this support from Johnsons Seeds’ customers. “Their generous donation helps in our twin aims of conservation and outreach. Britain’s bees are in trouble and urgently need flower-rich habitats to sustain their populations. Johnsons Seeds is helping us realise our vision that one day our communities and countryside will be rich in colourful wildflowers and bees, supporting a diversity of wildlife and habitats for everyone to enjoy.”
The contents of the Mixed Bumblebee Friendly Flowers comprise a carefully selected and well-balanced blend of more than 25 annuals and perennials, the result of close co-operation between Johnsons and the BBCT. The varieties chosen will not only attract bees and many other beneficial insects, but will also look most attractive for most of the summer. Recent research has shown that gardens are becoming increasingly important for bumblebees and other wild pollinators.
Johnsons’ Helen Clayton believes gardeners can play a significant role in aiding bumblebees just by growing certain types of flowers. “For example, single flowers are more appealing to bees than double-flowered forms, while old-fashioned ‘cottage garden’ flowers are attractive both to bees and humans”, said Helen. For further information on the aims and work of the BBCT log on to www.bumblebeeconservation.org.uk
Recent research led by Prof. Daniel Robert of the University of Bristol and published in the online journal Science Express suggests bumblebees can detect flowers’ electric fields and use these to discriminate between different species, helping them to enhance their memory of where they have found floral rewards.
Johnsons seeds are available from garden centres, supermarkets and leading DIY stores throughout the UK and at www.johnsons-seeds.com. Look out for the free Johnsons “Growing a Wildlife Garden” leaflet in garden centres.