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

The Disproportionate Value of ‘Weeds’ to Pollinators and Biodiversity

In their latest research, Nicholas Balfour and Francis Ratnieks use multiple datasets to compare the biodiversity value of the plant species classified as ‘injurious weeds’ by the UK’s 1959 Weeds Act, with those species stipulated by DEFRA for pollinator targeted agri-environmental options. In the UK, five species of native wildflowers are classified as “injurious weeds” in the 1959 Weeds Act. Three of them are frequently … Continue reading The Disproportionate Value of ‘Weeds’ to Pollinators and Biodiversity

Beneficial arthropod abundance assessed by sweep-netting is negatively associated with landscape-wide insecticide use

In a new study, Bakker, Bianchi and van der Werf assess how the use of insecticides and semi-natural landscapes impact beneficial arthropods in the Netherlands. Beneficial arthropods, like predators, parasitoids and pollinators, provide important ecosystem services such as biological pest control and pollination, and are therefore vital for ecosystem health and global food production. However, concerns have risen on the widespread decline of arthropods — … Continue reading Beneficial arthropod abundance assessed by sweep-netting is negatively associated with landscape-wide insecticide use

Identifying plant species mixes that promote multiple ecosystem services in agro-ecosystems

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

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

Cover stories: celebrating the beauty of pollinators

This month’s Journal of Applied Ecology cover shows a foraging male Habropoda tarsata. Photographer, David Kleijn shares the joy of rediscovering your passion for your study species. These days when we talk and write about pollinators, it is often in the context of their role as providers of pollination services. Pollinators are important for maintaining the production of the insect-pollinated crops that provide most of … Continue reading Cover stories: celebrating the beauty of pollinators

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