Mind the gap: why flower timing matters to farmland pollinators

A new study by Thomas Timberlake et al. reveals seasonal ‘hunger gaps’ in farmland nectar supplies, which could be limiting pollinator populations. But does this offer an opportunity to devise more targeted and cost-effective conservation and agri-environment schemes for pollinators? Nectar and pollen are crucial resources which give bees and other pollinators the energy and protein they need to fly around, reproduce and maintain their … Continue reading Mind the gap: why flower timing matters to farmland pollinators

Redefining bee-friendly plants: pollen quality versus quantity

Do bees really benefit from our conservation attempts? Michał Filipiak takes a closer look at the factors that determine whether pollen was a healthy food for wild bee larvae or not.  The outcomes have him asking whether we need major shift in the perspective of what we consider ‘bee-friendly’ plants. Take a look at the ‘menu bee’ infographic available here. What are bee-friendly plants? Children, compared … Continue reading Redefining bee-friendly plants: pollen quality versus quantity

Horse grazing restores plant diversity and pollinator habitat use

Associate Editor, Meredith Root-Bernstein discusses the short-term effects of rewilding projects and the recently published paper, Experimental rewilding enhances grassland functional composition and pollinator habitat use by Garrido et al. Rewilding has attracted attention as an emerging approach to nature conservation in areas where large animals and their ecosystem functions are missing. In Europe, ecological processes carried out by large herbivores may have been significantly … Continue reading Horse grazing restores plant diversity and pollinator habitat use

What’s the meta with bees? Pesticides influence bee learning and memory

Harry Siviter’s article, Quantifying the impact of pesticides on learning and memory, was published yesterday (Wednesday 11th July 2018). Here he explains why policy makers need to consider the effects of agrochemicals on pollinators. Foraging bees have a tough time of it. In social bees, such as bumblebees and honeybees, workers have to forage across large landscapes, collecting nectar and pollen from flowers as they … Continue reading What’s the meta with bees? Pesticides influence bee learning and memory

Bumblebees are frequent flyers – what are the impacts?

Addressing pollinator introduction policy and the effects introduced species can have on local ecosystems, Romina Rader, Manu Saunders and Tobias Smith discuss the recent Policy Direction, Coordinated species importation policies are needed to reduce serious invasions globally: The case of alien bumblebees in South America by Aizen et al. Bumblebees (Bombus spp.) are large, iconic pollinators of many wild flowers and crops.  Their ability to … Continue reading Bumblebees are frequent flyers – what are the impacts?

Editor’s Choice 54:5 – Quantifying the collateral damage of neonicotinoid insecticides on bees

Issue 54:5’s Editor’s Choice is written by Sarah Diamond. The article chosen is Planting of neonicotinoid-treated maize poses risks for honey bees and other non-target organisms over a wide area without consistent crop yield benefit by C. Krupke et al. As humans modify natural environments, we are witnessing the steady accumulation of unintended, cascading effects across biological communities. Biocontrol agents have escaped their intended targets … Continue reading Editor’s Choice 54:5 – Quantifying the collateral damage of neonicotinoid insecticides on bees