Grower uses bees for Venus Fly Trap seed kits

South West Carnivorous Plants is using bumble bees from Certis to pollinate Venus Fly Traps for seed production in what the Devon grower's owner Alistair Pearce believes is a first.

Pearce supplies seed for kits to Suttons, Thompson & Morgan, the Eden Project and others, and now hopes to expand into the gift market at theme parks and zoos.

The producer found hoverfly pollination too "hit and miss" so experimented with Certis using bumble bees and will produce a record 200,000 seeds this year. In 2010, the grower produced just 60,000 after the natural pollinator, the hoverfly, arrived after flowering.

Pearce said: "I decided I needed more control and researched whether bees can do this. It's worked a treat." He said the cost of Venus Fly Traps from Holland was increasing, making growing from seed more attractive. He added that seed from overseas can be less fresh than UK seed, making it more difficult to germinate.

Certis's Martin Donnelly said: "It is unlikely this has been done before on carnivorous plants."

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Peach leaf curl

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Peach leaf curl

Growers of fruit and ornamental trees need to be aware of this disfiguring disease.

Business planning - Demand management

Business planning - Demand management

Seasonal demand may be inevitable but peaks and troughs can be managed to minimise business impact, Neville Stein explains.



These heralds of spring are highly suited to being planted in tree circles, grass and rock gardens, says Miranda Kimberley.

Opinion... Get rid of plastics in Horticulture

Opinion... Get rid of plastics in Horticulture

Blue Planet II eloquently showed the rich tapestry of life in the oceans. It also focused public awareness on plastic pollution damaging wildlife.

Opinion... Gardening needs better promotion

Opinion... Gardening needs better promotion

British horticultural firms and organisations have not been the best at working together to promote our industry.

Opinion... A wish list for unblinkered thinking among our politicians

Opinion... A wish list for unblinkered thinking among our politicians

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Top 60 Ornamentals nurseries

See our exclusive ranking of ornamentals nurseries by annual turnover. 

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production

Read Tim Edwards

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world

Read more Peter Seabrook articles