Conservation in post-industrial cities: How does vacant land management and landscape configuration influence urban bees?

Each year, Journal of Applied Ecology awards the Southwood Prize to the best paper in the journal by an author at the start of their career. In this post, Katie Turo discusses her shortlisted paper which assessed local- and landscape-scale drivers of bee community composition and foraging within vacant lots of Cleveland, Ohio, USA.  Our cities are home to diverse bee communities and even rare bee species. As a result, … Continue reading Conservation in post-industrial cities: How does vacant land management and landscape configuration influence urban bees?

Seasonal progression and differences in major floral resource use by bees and hoverflies in a diverse horticultural and agricultural landscape revealed by DNA metabarcoding

In their new study, Abigail Lowe and colleagues discuss why we need to know which pollinators use which plants in which seasons throughout the year, so that we can support them effectively. In the last few years, we have seen an immense increase in public support for pollinators with many choosing to buy pollinator-friendly plants for their garden. However, even with these good intentions, it’s … Continue reading Seasonal progression and differences in major floral resource use by bees and hoverflies in a diverse horticultural and agricultural landscape revealed by DNA metabarcoding

Bee abundance estimates vary by collection method and flowering richness

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

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?

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

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

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

Protecting pollinators through better road verge management

In their recent study, Ben Phillips and colleagues reveal the importance of road verges as habitats for pollinators, as well as the negative impacts of current management actions. But how can we improve the situation? Most of us spend a good part of our days travelling on roads. The remains of the animals that stare back at us from the asphalt – the victims of … Continue reading Protecting pollinators through better road verge management

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