Determining the Most Attractive Plants for Bees and other Flower Visitors

How to help bees and other flower visiting insects by planting the right flowers

Workshop date:  Saturday 13th July 2019


Bees and many insects visit flowers to gather nectar and pollen. One reason why bees and other flower-visiting insects have declined is because there are fewer flowers. However, not all flowers are equally good for insects, and some insects preferentially visit certain plant species. So which are the best flowers?
The workshop is targeted at anyone who is interested in helping bees through flowers, whether ornamental garden flowers or wild flowers. You will learn how to identify the main types of flower-visiting insects and how to quantify them so that you can determine which attract the most insects and also which types of insects visit them. For example, some flowers attract more honey bees, some more bumble bees, some more butterflies.
The workshop will take place at LASI and will combine lectures with hands on activities, and will be based on the results of LASI research carried out in the  Sussex Plan for Honey Bee Health & Well Being. Teachers include Professor Francis Ratnieks, Dr. Karin Alton and other LASI researchers.

Other information

The workshop will be taught on Saturday  13th July between 11.30am and 15pm, please aim to arrive by 11.15 to allow for parking and refreshments prior to the first lecture at 11.30. 

The Laboratory of Apiculture & Social Insects, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, BN19QG

A donation of £20 is requested towards the research we carry out at LASI, and is payable at the time of booking. Spaces are limited to 25 people and will be allocated on a first come basis.

A notebook and pen and a camera for photographing insects is optional.

Sussex University is easily reached by road and rail. Falmer station is 10 minutes walk. Parking is available in visitor car parks for a small fee (free on Saturday). Please park in car park P1 or P4.

Campus maps

Location of LASIHow to get to LASI


Please book your space on this workshop here:

Plants for bees and other flower visiting insects


We look forward to welcoming you to the lab.




Gill Walker: 'Thank you for very interesting workshops.  Please would you thank Francis and all your lovely team? '

Linsey Reid: 'Thank you very much for such a good afternoon at LASI on 1st July.  And thanks to everyone involved in the organising.  And for the marvellous cakes! Enjoyed it hugely, not least because I'm planning my MSc research along these lines, and my head is now full of ideas!'

Shelagh Phelps: 'A great afternoon, thought provoking talk from the Prof & interesting practical sessions.... Not to forget the cakes. We have since been gardening all day and found ourselves checking out the numbers and types of insects on our plants.'

Darryl Cox: 'Great day learning about plants 4 ‪#‎pollinators with @LasiBee today, catmint and marjoram the clear winners on this breezy south coast day!'

Rach Bicker, Biodiversity consultant at Gatwick Airport: 'Great to meet the @LasiBee lab @SussexUni really excellent workshop on best plants for bees & other pollinators'


workshop participants looking at flowersDr Mihail Garbuzov showing workshop participants the bee-friendly plants at LASI