P.E.I. potato farmers plant flower-filled ‘refuge fields’ for pollinators

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Vernon Campbell, left, of Mull Na Bienne Farm, has planted his second pollinator refuge field this year on an acre of land in Springbrook, P.E.I. (Kirk Pennell/CBC) A growing number of P.E.I. potato farmers are planting small fields of flowers and other plants to provide a friendly spot for bees and other pollinators. Researchers at the P.E.I. Potato Board are also hoping the plants will have some added benefits when the next crop of potatoes goes into those fields. Vernon Campbell of Mull Na Bienne Farms has planted his second pollinator refuge field, on an acre of land in Springbrook, P.E.I. Campbell calls it "the right thing to do." "I was so pleased how it turned out last year, I thought: ‘Let’s do it again,’" Campbell said. The plants in the refuge field flower at different times in the summer, and provide a food source for honeybees, native bee species and other native pollinators. (Kirk Pennell/CBC) "This is kind of a poorer section of the field and we didn’t need it all in the barley, so we left a portion of the field and planted this pollinator mix." Low maintenance The mix in Campbell’s field includes seven pollinator species: […]

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