Do roads pose a significant barrier to bee movement?

Did the bee cross the road? If not, why not – and what does this mean for the flowers on the other side? In their latest research, Fitch & Vaidya investigate the influence of roads on pollinator movement and pollination by examining patterns of pigment transfer between focal plants of two species. We know that large highways kill billions of insects each year, but whether roads … Continue reading Do roads pose a significant barrier to bee movement?

When stressed by both pesticides and parasites, honey bees do better than expected

In their latest research, Bird and colleagues perform a meta‐analysis to gain a clearer view of the combined effects of parasites and pesticides on honey bee health. Honey bees pollinate about a third of all crops. Without them, the production of everything from almonds to zucchinis would grind to halt, which makes it especially alarming that honey bees have being dying at increasing rates over … Continue reading When stressed by both pesticides and parasites, honey bees do better than expected

What limits bumblebee populations on farmland?

A new study by Timberlake and colleagues finds that late summer nectar supply on farmland has an important influence on bumblebee colony density the following year – does this offer an opportunity to devise more targeted agri-environment schemes for pollinators? Pollen and nectar are the primary food source for most adult pollinators, and in the case of bees, their larvae too. It is no surprise … Continue reading What limits bumblebee populations on farmland?

Infographic: Pollinator monitoring more than pays for itself

New research from Breeze and colleagues demonstrates that a well-designed monitoring scheme provides  excellent value for money, compared with traditional research funding models, and could help save species and protect UK food security. This infographic provides an overview of their work. ‘Our findings demonstrate that long‐term systematic monitoring can be a cost‐effective tool for both answering key research questions and setting action points for policymakers. … Continue reading Infographic: Pollinator monitoring more than pays for itself

Pollinator monitoring more than Pays for Itself

In their latest research, Breeze and colleagues evaluate the costs of running pollinator monitoring schemes against the economic benefits to research and the society that they provide Take a look at the accompanying infographic here Bees, hoverflies and other insects provide vital pollination services to crops and wild plants throughout the UK. There is a lot of information demonstrating that these insects are declining but … Continue reading Pollinator monitoring more than Pays for Itself

Flower strips, organic management or small-scale farming: which benefits pollinator abundance, richness and reproduction most?

Exploring local and landscape management actions, Costanza Geppert and colleagues recognise the value of flower strips but also point to the importance of organic agriculture when it comes to maintaining pollinator richness. Their new insights were recently published in Journal of Applied Ecology. In recent years, the ‘insect Armageddon’ has received growing attention in Europe. The main driver of this insect decline is agricultural intensification, … Continue reading Flower strips, organic management or small-scale farming: which benefits pollinator abundance, richness and reproduction most?

Biodiversity in West African parklands promotes pollination of shea

With demand on shea parklands increasing, Aoife Delaney and colleagues explore the pollination services to shea and how we can better support this resource of both ecological and economic importance. Their new research was recently published in Journal of Applied Ecology. Shea parklands occupy over 1 million km2 in the Sudano-Sahelian semi-arid zone of sub-Saharan Africa, from Senegal in the west to Uganda in the … Continue reading Biodiversity in West African parklands promotes pollination of shea

A new threat to native bumblebees

In their recently published article, Bartomeus et al. show how the commercial bumblebee trade is affecting the genetic integrity of native pollinators. Here the authors provide a summary of their work. Bees, especially bumblebees, are threatened by human-induced rapid environmental change such as habitat loss, exotic pathogens and global warming. But some species are more resilient than others. This is the case for the buff-tailed … Continue reading A new threat to native bumblebees

Bee pollen reveals how multiple threats could contribute to bee decline

Recent research from Centrella et al. shows the effects agriculture and associated pesticides are having on bees in terms of both their diets and the offspring they produce. Here they discuss their findings. Threats to bee pollinators such as land use change, high pesticide use, and reduced floral diet diversity are usually assessed independently, even though we know that bees face these threats simultaneously in … Continue reading Bee pollen reveals how multiple threats could contribute to bee decline