Managing your land for bumblebees

Land management factsheets

Bumblebees are hard-working and versatile pollinators, providing an important service to agriculture.

The yields of many commercial crops, such as tomatoes, peas, apples and oilseed rape benefit from bumblebee pollination. They are also key to maintaining our biodiversity as so many wild plants depend upon them for pollination.

Bumblebees’ favourite habitats include wildflower-rich meadows and pastures, pollen and nectar-rich field margins, orchards, hedgerows, ditches, brownfield and industrial sites, heathland and coastal strips. Sensitive management of these habitats is essential to help bumblebees survive in the long-term.

For generic information on managing your land for bumblebees, click here to download our factsheet.

Alternatively, select one of the options below to view advice for specific land types.

  • Wildflower-rich grasslands factsheet: English, Welsh
  • Flower-rich pastures factsheet: English, Welsh
  • Restoring or creating a meadow factsheet: English
  • Hedges and edges factsheet: English
  • Field margins factsheet: English
  • Traditional orchards factsheet: English
  • Brownfield and industrial land factsheet: English
  • Active mineral quarries factsheet: English
  • Quarry restoration factsheet: English
  • Moorland management factsheet: English

Please be aware that each site is unique and the recommended management approach will depend on local site conditions and the historical or traditional management regime. For site-specific advice, please contact your local BBCT Conservation Officer – advice@bumblebeeconservation.org.


Sourcing wildflower seeds

Many grasslands have lost their wildflower seed bank.  The addition of locally sourced native seed to a meadow will, over time, help to increase the range and number of flowers that it supports, increasing the quantity and quality of foraging habitat for bumblebees.
Seed can be harvested by brush harvesting, using a leaf vacuum, or using green hay, or can be bought from seed merchants which supply native origin seed mixes of local provenance.

Different seeds will be suitable for the various soil types, and information on these can be found in the factsheets below.

Sourcing wildflower seeds

Example wildflower seed mix for neutral soils

Example wildflower seed mix for calcareous soils

Example wildflower seed mix for damp soils

Example wildflower seed mix for pollen and nectar margins

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