insect pollination News

  • Insect diversity improves crop pollination

    The decline in numbers of wild bees has caused concern regarding falling levels of pollination for important agricultural crops. Researchers have now demonstrated that the diversity of the pollinator community can significantly affect pollination. Insect pollination is a vital ecosystem service; a large proportion of the human diet either directly or indirectly depends on animal-based ...

  • Organic mulch lets insect pollinators do their job

    As interest in organic agricultural and horticultural practices continues to grow, so does the need to identify alternative weed control practices. Mulching, a common practice used to control weeds and reduce the need for tillage, can also reduce insect pollinators' exposure to harmful pesticides; however, finding the right mulch materials that allow pollinators to flourish can be challenging. ...

  • Conservation efforts may be paying off for wild plants and insect pollinators

    Since the 1990s, rates of biodiversity loss of wild plants and their insect pollinators have slowed down in north-west Europe, according to a recent study. It is likely that conservation activities, such as agri-environmental schemes, have contributed to this improving situation. The loss of wild species and habitats as a result of agricultural intensification and habitat destruction has ...

  • Conservation efforts may be paying off for wild plants and insect pollinators

    Since the 1990s, rates of biodiversity loss of wild plants and their insect pollinators have slowed down in north-west Europe, according to a recent study. It is likely that conservation activities, such as agri-environmental schemes, have contributed to this improving situation. The loss of wild species and habitats as a result of agricultural intensification and habitat destruction has ...

  • Pollinators vital to our food supply under threat

    A growing number of pollinator species worldwide are being driven toward extinction by diverse pressures, many of them human-made, threatening millions of livelihoods and hundreds of billions of dollars worth of food supplies, according to the first global assessment of pollinators. However, the assessment, a two-year study conducted and released today by the Intergovernmental ...

  • ARS scientists develop self-pollinating almond trees

    Self-pollinating almond trees that can produce a bountiful harvest without insect pollination are being developed by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists. This is good news for almond growers who face rising costs for insect pollination because of nationwide shortages of honey bees due to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and other factors. ARS geneticist Craig Ledbetter, at the agency’s ...

  • Bee pollination improves crop quality as well as quantity

    Bee pollination improves the shape, weight and shelf-life of strawberries, contributing a staggering €1.05 billion to the European strawberry market per year, new research suggests. By blocking bees from a set of plants, the researchers demonstrated the substantial effects of bee pollination on the quality of the fruit. It is well established that insect pollination increases the quantity of ...

  • Potential of insects as resources for animal feed

    Insects can provide a sustainable and environmentally-friendly option for animal feed, in addition to already being a mainstay of human diets for 2 billion people worldwide, FAO Assistant Director-General Eduardo Rojas-Briales told an international gathering of researchers in The Netherlands. Rojas spoke during the opening session of the conference, “ ...

  • Loss of wild pollinators would hit crops, finds study

    The loss of wild pollinators from agricultural landscapes could threaten global crop yields, a study has found. Led by Lucas Garibaldi, an assistant professor at the National University of Río Negro inArgentina, a team of researchers compared fields containing many wild pollinators — mostly insects — ...


    By SciDev.Net

  • Bees in the city: urban environments could help support pollinators

    Urban areas may support higher levels of bee diversity than expected, new research has shown. The UK-wide study compared three different habitat types — nature reserves, farmland, and urban areas — and found a higher number of different bee species in urban areas than farmland. However, the overall pollinator diversity, which included species of bees, flies, hoverflies and ...

  • Patches of flowers boost pollinator diversity and lead to higher crop yields

    Falling levels of insect pollination are causing declining yields of important agricultural crops. However, new research from South Africa now indicates that planting small patches of native flowers in agricultural fields can be a profitable and sustainable method of increasing pollination and yield. Insect pollination is a vital ecosystem service as animal-pollinated crops form an ...

  • Bees under bombardment: New report shows multiple factors behind pollinator losses

    A new UNEP report will show that bee colonies worldwide are under threat, with serious implications for biodiversity and food security. The report - 'Global Honey Bee Colony Disorders and Other Threats to Insect Pollinators' - finds that multiple factors are responsible for declines in bee populations. These include habitat deterioration, air pollution, crop spraying and the widespread use of ...

  • Which seeds to sow for bees?

    Farmers could help to maintain populations of bees and other pollinators by sowing inexpensive seed mixes on their land, a new study suggests. Researchers surveyed pollinators visiting study plots in Berkshire, UK, and explored how sowing different seed mixes and using different management techniques affected the flowers produced and the pollinators visiting them. Overall, 84% of the crop ...

  • Bees under bombardment

    More than a dozen factors, ranging from declines in flowering plants and the use of memory-damaging insecticides to the world-wide spread of pests and air pollution, may be behind the emerging decline of bee colonies across many parts of the globe. Scientists are warning that without profound changes to the way human-beings manage the planet, declines in pollinators needed to feed a growing ...

  • Environment Commissioner and Danish Minister meet 80,000 workers at the EEA

    The bees living on the roof of the European Environment Agency (EEA) received some special guests today, when European Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik and Danish Environment Minister Karen Ellemann visited their hives. The two policy makers joined EEA Executive Director Jacqueline McGlade in harvesting the first batch of honey. Professor McGlade said: “Keeping bees ...

  • Poison pulled: bee toxic pesticide removed from store shelves

    After rounds of legal wrangling in federal court, a bee-toxic pesticide may no longer be sold or distributed because it entered the marketplace illegally. Bayer CropScience’s pesticide spirotetramat (trade-named Movento, Ultor, and Kontos) is now illegal to buy, sell, or transport in the United States after NRDC and Xerces Society successfully argued that it was approved through a flawed ...

  • EU study on bee-killing pesticides increases pressure for ban expansion

    A study by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has linked the spraying of three neonicotinoid pesticides to harmful effects on bees, increasing the pressure on the European Commission to expand a current EU-wide ban to all uses and crops, said Greenpeace. EFSA assessed the safety of pesticides thiamethoxam (produced by Syngenta), clothianidin and imidacloprid (both produced by Bayer) ...


    By Greenpeace International

  • Can new biopesticide protect crops without harming honeybees?

    A potential new biopesticide, made of spider venom and snowdrop proteins, kills agricultural pests but shows minimal toxicity to honeybees, new research suggests. Learning and memory of honeybees exposed to the biopesticide were not affected, even at doses higher than they would normally encounter in the environment. Insect pollination is vital for food production; however, there are concerns ...

  • War on willows

    Willows are major environmental weeds of riverbank habitats across much of south-eastern Australia. They obstruct water flow, increase water temperature, change water chemistry and can displace native riverine plant species. A CSIRO project looking at the reproductive ecology and dispersal ability of the most aggressive invasive species of willows in Australia is providing urgently ...

  • Neonicotinoid pesticides are a huge risk – so ban is welcome, says EEA

    The European Commission has decided to ban three neonicotinoid insecticides. These chemicals can harm honeybees, according to a large body of scientific evidence, so the European Environment Agency (EEA) commends the precautionary decision to ban them. The three banned insecticides are clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiametoxam. A ...

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