Some participants have reached the hand pollination stage of the project again this year, so I'm reposting the extra tips from last time, as they seemed to be useful.

Remember – we are NOT trying to cross-pollinate the flowers. Bean flowers are self-fertile and the pollen needs to be moved around inside the flower for this to work, so we use a hand pollination method known as 'tripping'. This involves carefully opening and closing the flowers to shift the pollen about inside. The instruction sheets have step-by-step photographs of this process (which can be downloaded again from the downloads page if yours have gone wandering!).

Given the flowers last about a week, and you will hand-pollinate twice per week, you will probably handle each individual flower ten times. So if you were doing your hand-pollinating on monday and thursday, for example, you would:

Monday - Open and close the flowers 5 times.

Thursday - Open and close the flowers another 5 times.

When each flower has gone grey / floppy, you don't need to hand-pollinate them anymore.

Flower examples
Example of different stages of bean flowers.

I do hope to get a new video this year, but my beans are a bit behind some people's, so for now I will link to the first one again. The video below should start playing at 1:48, and you only need to watch what I do until 2:10 (and I do it again 2:38 – 2:48). You don’t need to do the faffing around that happens afterwards with bits of other flowers, because we have shown over the course of the project that the tripping method is equally effective!