24 May 2002

Grass seed mix for bumblebees

PLUMMETING populations of bumblebees have prompted UK seed supplier SCATS Agriproducts to launch a tailor-made grass seed mixture for the insect.

Of the 16 UK bumblebee species only six can easily be found today, and one has become completely extinct over the past two years, says English Nature.

The new mix of grasses and wildflowers provides the ideal place for mice and voles to make nests in which bumblebees like to start new colonies, says SCATS.

Its Bumblebee Mixture can be planted along field margins and on unproductive land from April to September and qualifies for up to £510/ha (£206/acre) under the Countryside Stewardship Scheme. &#42