Forage for pollinators in an agricultural landscape
Today the International Bee Research Association launches an important book about food for pollinators at the British Beekeepers Association Spring Convention at Harper Adams University College.
Bees and other insect pollinators have intrinsic cultural value and play an essential role in the diversity and resilience of our plant and animal life, through the pollination of agricultural crops and wild plants. Changes in land use which have led to a reduction in the food available for pollinating insects are thought to be a major contributor to their recent well documented declines in abundance and diversity. Defra’s National Pollinator Strategy, subject of a current consultation, aims to ensure that all of the approximately 1,500 insect pollinator species in England thrive and provide essential pollination services for agriculture and the wider environment. It is therefore imely that IBRA is now republishing this volume, first published twenty years ago. The book’s six chapters cover the changes in land use that occurred during the twentieth century and their effects on the availability of forage plants, important nectar sources for honey bees, and farmland as a habitat for bumble bees and for solitary bees. The remaining two chapters cover the use of forage mixtures for pollinators and what can be done in practice to encourage pollinator forage.
IBRA Science Director Norman Carreck says: “This little book, which has sadly been unavailable for some time, provides sound information about the changes in land use which have reduced food availability for pollinators, their effects on insect populations, and possible strategies for reversing these changes”.
Source: www.ibra.org.uk and www.stockvault.net