A workshop, held at NIAB East Malling in Kent on 26th October 2022, will help fruit growers improve their selection of appropriate wildflower seed mixes as well as wildflower strip establishment and management. Open to all, attendees will also learn about the benefits of wildflowers in fruit production in terms of both pollination and insect pest control.
The event is part of BEESPOKE, an EU-funded research project and will be run by NIAB entomologists. Those attending will learn from the experiences of local growers who have kindly taken part in the project and are willing to share their findings with others.
The event will include presentations from NIAB entomologists Michelle Fountain and Celine Silva, along with wildlife farming expert Marek Nowakowski from Wildlife Farming and Andrew Bourne, seed specialist from T. Denne & Sons. There will also be a chance to view various stages of wildflower plot development at East Malling and to discuss their practical experiences.
NIAB Knowledge Exchange manager Scott Raffle, commented, “The fruit industry has been talking about the use and benefits of wildflower strips for many years and the BEESPOKE project has allowed our entomologists to put them into action both at the research station and on local commercial fruit growing sites. I encourage growers and their staff to come along and learn about our combined experiences.”
The event takes place at NIAB East Malling on Wednesday 26th October from 9.30am until 12 noon. To register for the event or find out more go to the Event Hub on niab.com and 'Book Your Place'.
NIAB entomologists at East Malling have been working on an Interreg EU-funded project called BEESPOKE. Its objective is to increase the number of pollinators and crop pollination on local and landscape scale by providing new expertise, tools and financial knowledge to land managers and policy makers, in order to create more sustainable and resilient agro-ecosystems. It aims to develop new products and approaches to increase the diversity of insect pollinators and crop yields by 10%. NIAB has been developing bespoke seed mixes and habitat management guidelines to support farmers and growers.