In their latest research, Windsor et al. demonstrate the importance of considering multiple ecosystem services and disservices when designing plant mixes for field margin management. Plants in field margins serve a multifunctional role, supporting a range of important ecological processes and ecosystem services. Management schemes to date, however, have focused on individual ecological processes/services (i.e., pollination or natural pest control). Indeed, Countryside Stewardship Grants to … Continue reading Identifying plant species mixes that promote multiple ecosystem services in agro-ecosystems
Monitoring bee populations is becoming increasingly important and commonplace, but do current methods produce reliable estimates of bee communities? Authors Marirose Kuhlman and Philip Hahn explore this question in their latest research. Wild bees are the main pollinators in nearly all terrestrial ecosystems and are essential to the reproductive cycles of many native plants, agricultural crops, and to the success of habitat restoration projects. Because … Continue reading Bee abundance estimates vary by collection method and flowering richness
New research by Maas and colleagues shows how the interplay between species-specific traits, functions, and services can inform more targeted, sustainable management of agricultural biodiversity. Agricultural biodiversity is declining worldwide, and its conservation does not work through one-size-fits-all solutions. Species respond differently to agricultural developments and new management measures, depending on their individual characteristics – which has major implications for the management of species-specific functions … Continue reading Semi-natural grassland strips promote agricultural biodiversity depending on species characteristics
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?
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
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?
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
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
Can pollinators choose between pesticide-laced and pesticide-free foods? And is choice a good thing in terms of conservation? Paola Olaya‐Arenas and Ian Kaplan discuss their new research. Continue reading Milkweed pesticide residues deter feeding and egg-laying by monarch butterflies
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?