Bee-friendly plants put to the test

Researchers have used an experimental garden to put pollinator-friendly plants to the test. The University of Sussex scientists counted the number of insects visiting the plants in their garden. They say their findings show that insect-friendly plants are just as pretty, cheap and easy to grow as less pollinator-friendly varieties. Their results are published in the Journal of Functional Ecology.

PhD student Mihail Garbuzov used 32 different varieties of popular garden plants. These included some nectar-rich and highly scented plants he thought would be attractive to insects and some that seemed to be less attractive.

While the small-scale study did not produce an exhaustive list of the best plants for pollinating insects, the team says the data has put a number on just how many more pollinators the right plants can attract.

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