One of the most important parts of bringing more bees to Bristol, will be making sure they have enough food to eat. Wildflowers provide a necessary and diverse selection of nectar and pollen for bees and are a favourite spot for most pollinators.
We will therefore be working with ongoing projects in Bristol to locate, plant and protect areas of wildflower. These wildfllower meadows can be non-native and native, as both are good for bees and other pollinators generally. However, during the last 70 years, the UK has seen a 97% drop in native wildflower meadows.
We'd like to concentrate our resources on building more native wildflower meadows for that reason. There are obstacles to overcome however, as Bristol's soil type is predominately clay based which does not provide the best environment for native wildflowers. This part of the project will look at the best way to over come these issues using organic techniques and see the birth of more native wildflower meadows in our area.
We will also be working on a local level, giving guidance and tips of how to plant your own meadow at home in your garden.
One of the ways BeeBristol helps bees is by planting areas of wildflower across Bristol. We do this where there is appropriate space and light and of course, where we have permission to do so!
These areas can include - community gardens, businesses, private land (with public use) and even on some buildings - we plant wildflower meadows on the roof!
This kind of activity is fun for all involved and those who help really leave with a sense of satisfaction and ownership.
We work with our own volunteers, community groups, partner organisations and schools when planting wildflower meadows. It's a great feeling to get together and create such a communal space for your neighbourhood to enjoy and that you know is providing vital food to all the pollinators in your area.
Working with St Werbough's Farm we are transforming an area in the community garden into a wildflower meadow. Work started in September 2014 to prepare the soil for sowing. The seed mix provided by River of Flowers consists of Corn cockle, cornflower, corn chamcmile, corn poppy, ox-eye daisy, meadow buttercup, meadowsweet, lady's bedstraw. This is an annual mix and will look beautiful come next spring, providing a great source of food for wild pollinators and a lovely place for residents to enjoy.