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

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

Issue 55:6

Here are some of the highlights from our last issue of 2018 and our last issue to be published in print. You can also read issue 55:6 online here. Disentangling natural vs anthropogenic influences on predation: reducing impacts on sensitive prey Our latest Editor’s Choice article Cover stories: Cheetah chase Take a look at this selection of images telling the story behind our latest cover … Continue reading Issue 55:6

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?