Economic and Food Value of Pollinators



Plan of Action


Value of Pollinators

Bumblebees are important pollinators of several European crops and together with other non-honeybee pollinators are estimated to provide services worth more than €750 million per year [1].

Bumblebees can be managed specifically to pollinate some crops such as field beans, tomato and melon; or more often ‘wild’ unmanaged populations provide the service to these crops and others e.g. red clover.

The best pollinators of many orchard fruits are solitary bees like the red mason bee.  The production of apples and almonds may be greatly enhanced by introducing managed solitary bees  [2].

Honeybees, bumblebees, solitary bees and other pollinators are under increasing threat, and severe declines have been reported in several regions of Europe.


bumblebee on tomato flower







Osmia rufa









[1] Borneck, R. and Merle, B. (1989) Essaie d’une evaluation de l’incidence économique de l’abeille pollinisatrice dans l’agriculture européenne. Apicata 24: 33-38.

[2] Bosch, J. (1994) Improvement of field management of Osmia cornuta (Latreille) (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) to pollinate almond. Apidologie 25: 71-83.



Previous European Pollinator Initiative Coordinated by: Centre for Agri-Environmental Research    Reading University, PO Box 237, RG6 6AR, UK