Sustainable Pollination Services for UK Crops



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FERA

Establish which insects are the best pollinators for some important UK crops

In order that crop pollination services can be improved and made sustainable, it is essential that we know which insects are the most efficient pollinators of crops grown in the UK. Using large flight cages which have been built at Leeds and Reading Universities we are able to manipulate different crops and pollinators to compare their pollination efficiency. Using 4 focal crops, oilseed, apples, beans and strawberries, we will compare how effective honeybees, bumblebees, hoverflies and a solitary bee species are at crop pollination.


Results from this research will improve our understanding of the pollination ecology of these crops. Using this data we will be able to improve management of pollination services through appropriate mitigation strategies which can be tailored to specific pollinator groups for specific crops. This will enable crop production to be improved and made more sustainable in the future.


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