Sown wildflowers between vines increase beneficial insect abundance and richness in a British vineyard

This study investigated the effect on beneficial insects of different methods of increasing wildflowers in vine inter-rows. 5 treatments were applied:

  • a commercially available ‘meadow’ mix
  • a commercially available ‘pollen and nectar’ mix
  • a wild bee seed mix formulated for the experiment based on existing literature
  • ‘natural regeneration’, i.e. allowing the vineyard floor to grow naturally through not mowing
  • regular mowing in line with the vineyard’s standard practice

The researchers found that, by the second year of the study, there were significantly higher levels of beneficial insects in the sown rows and the row left to regenerate naturally compared to the mowed rows. They suggest that allowing the rows to naturally regenerate could increase richness and abundance of beneficial insects without requiring additional resources.