New information on important flower resources for bees

Following the success of the book, Habitat Creation and Management for Pollinators, we have produced this summary leaflet containing new and detailed information on important plant species visited by a wide range of native bee species. We hope this will support improved management of farmland for pollinators.



About this book

This book, published in April 2016, is an informative and useful practical guide for conserving insect pollinators. 

It brings together practical skills with an in depth understanding of pollinator ecology providing farmers and other land managers with the best available advice on creating and managing habitats for bees on farmland.

The book is the distillation of a 20 year research partnership between Marek Nowakowski - a practitioner with a passion for wildlife conservation on farmland - and applied ecologists working for the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. 

Download a copy

The book is free to download. Click below to obtain a copy (File size 7MB).


Bee Book Cover

Further information

This book begins by describing the basic differences in biology between honeybees, bumblebees and solitary bees, and then outlines the key stages of their life cycles in terms of mating, nesting habitat and food resources (flowers). 


Sow page

Chapter two gives details of the widespread plant species that provide food resources for bees in the countryside and describe the different types of seed mixes farmers can sow to create pollinator habitat. 


Life cycle of bees page

Chapter three provides guidance as to where on the farm to create pollinator habitat and how much will be required, and describes the practicalities of when and how to sow pollinator seed mixes, and how to manage the problems of excessive soil fertility and weed pressure associated with farmland. The funding of wildlife habitat creation within a commercial farm business is discussed. Finally details are provided of the scientific research and field trials that underpin this wealth of practical advice.  

 “I am delighted to introduce this timely book on the creation and management of habitat for pollinators. As a fruit farmer I understand the importance of crop pollination, and I feel a particular affinity to this work given that some of the field trials were conducted on my own Estate at Blackmoor, Hampshire (pictured on the cover). This guide shows the clear benefits of practitioners working closely with research scientists to develop workable and tested solutions to a pressing need. It provides farmers with all they need to know about management for pollinators; from the basic facts about bee biology; the importance of season long flower resources; and then how, when and where to create different habitats to provide food, shelter and nesting. By working together, with the help of this guide, we can hopefully take these simple actions to improve the environment and see pollinators once again thrive in the countryside.” John Selborne (The Earl of Selborne GBE FRS) - taken from the book foreword.

In order to produce seed and fruit many plants, including crops, depend on insects to transfer pollen between flowers. Maintaining enough insect pollinators is therefore vital to ensure a diverse food supply and for biodiversity. Insect pollinators include honeybees, bumblebees, solitary bees, hoverflies, beetles, butterflies and moths. In this book we focus on bees because of their importance for pollination worldwide and our increasing awareness of their decline. However, many of the habitats and management techniques we describe are equally beneficial to other insect pollinators.

The book builds on two decades of pollinator research carried out at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology.


CEH Pollinator science timeline

About the authors


Professor Richard Pywell - Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Richard Pywell - Richard leads research into sustainable land management at the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH). He has more than 20 years research experience in the restoration and management of habitats for wildlife conservation, with a particular focus on farmland. He has worked closely with Marek Nowakowski on many projects commissioned by Government departments to provide practical and scientific evidence for agri-environmental policies. In doing this he has also established strong collaborative links with university departments and the farming industry.

Staff webpage - Professor Richard Pywell




Marek Nowakowski - Wildlife Farming Company

Marek Nowakowski - From childhood Marek has had a passion for both wildlife and farming. Since 1970 he has worked in agriculture as a research scientist and agronomist. In 1998 he helped set up the Wildlife Farming Company dedicated to improving farmland habitats through research, practical experience and training. During his career he has worked with Government, research, policy and commercial organisations. He has demonstrated that wildlife can co-exist with modern, profitable agriculture and has communicated this widely on both television and radio.