Navigation Links
Wild bees: Champions for food security and protecting our biodiversity
Date:9/6/2012

Pollinating insects contribute to agricultural production in 150 (84%) European crops. These crops depend partly or entirely upon insects for their pollination and yield. The value of insect pollinators is estimated to be 22 billion a year in Europe. Declines in managed pollinators, such as honeybees, and wild pollinator such bumblebees, solitary bees and hoverflies, are therefore of growing concern as we need to protect food production and the maintain wildflower diversity.

Scientists involved in STEP, a large-scale project funded by the 7th Framework Program (FP7) of the European Union, have therefore taken an inclusive approach looking at the status and trends of all Europe's pollinators.

New findings have been presented at a dedicated STEP symposium at the 5th EurBee meeting held in Halle, Germany on 3-6 September 2012. Prof Simon Potts from the University of Reading, UK and coordinator of STEP opened the discussion: "To help Europe secure sustainable food production and conserve its biodiversity we need to provide policy makers with clear evidence of who pollinates our crops and flowers and what are the best options to safeguard pollination services in a changing world"

More than 32 million European records of pollinators and plants have been analysed. "We have shown that not only has bee diversity been declining but communities are becoming more uniform in their composition", commented the lead scientist Dr Koos Beismeijer from Netherlands Centre for Biodiversity Naturalis, The Netherlands

One key threat to bees is agrochemicals; "we are now finding strong negative effects of pesticides, not only in honeybees and bumblebees, but also solitary bees as Europe has more than 2,500 solitary bee species we expect the implications of our research to be very wide ranging" said Dr Christoph Sandrock of Swiss Bee Research Centre.

Many European countries have an array of agri-environment options aiming to support biodiversity, including bees, but it is unclear how effective these really are. "Our analysis is the first to systematically test whether agri-environment options are actually benefiting bees" said Dr David Kleijn from Alterra, Netherlands.

Several European countries have programmes aiming to improve honeybee health, but there is very little support for wild pollinators despite their critical roles in ecosystems. "One of the big achievements of the STEP project will be the first ever European Red List for bees which will provide an essential tool for politicians and land managers to direct conservation efforts targeted at wild bees" said Mr Stuart Roberts from University of Reading, UK.

"There is increasing evidence that honeybee numbers are insufficient in many parts of Europe to provide adequate pollination services, and so wild pollinators are needed to cover the shortfall" stated Dr Tom Breeze from University of Reading, UK.

The STEP project will continue to use high quality research to deliver the evidence politicians need to develop better policies to protect all of Europe's pollinators. The project also uses its findings to develop specialist factsheets targeted at groups such as farmers and translated in 15 languages: see http://step-project.net/page.php?P=4&SP=14

Simultaneously, STEP is undertaking a broad-scale survey of the public opinion through online questionnaires available in seven European languages. The survey aims to reveal if, and to what extent, people are aware of the role of pollinators in agricultural ecosystems and the consequences for the environment from the decline of bees and other insect pollinators. Please spend 5 minutes of your time and fill it in at: http://www.step-project.net/page.php?P=26


'/>"/>
Contact: Prof Simon G. Potts
s.g.potts@reading.ac.uk
44-118-378-6154
Pensoft Publishers
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. IdentiSys acquires the Identification, Security and Presentation Divisions of Mountainland Business Systems, a Utah based reseller
2. Securiport: Biometric Scanning is Gold Standard in Airport Security
3. Farmer-led irrigation schemes could alter food security in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia
4. MSU to lead new global food security effort
5. Security Technology Executive, SIA and ISC East announce Security Innovation Awards Collaboration
6. Researchers advance biometric security
7. Jim Demitrieus, CEO of EyeLock, Invited to White House Cyber Security Event
8. Heightened Security Threats and Economic Issues Provide Fillip to Global Civil and Military Biometrics Market, Says Frost & Sullivan
9. Beating famine: Sustainable food security through land regeneration in a changing climate
10. Improved Authentication and Confidentiality Protection. ICAP Patent Brokerage Announces for Auction Important Patents in Data Encryption and Document Security
11. Protecting your brain: Use it or lose it
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Wild bees: Champions for food security and protecting our biodiversity
(Date:5/6/2017)... -- RAM Group , Singaporean based technology ... biometric authentication based on a novel  quantum-state ... perform biometric authentication. These new sensors are based on a ... Group and its partners. This sensor will have widespread ... security. Ram Group is a next generation sensor ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... 13, 2017 UBM,s Advanced Design and Manufacturing ... feature emerging and evolving technology through its 3D Printing ... run alongside the expo portion of the event and ... demonstrations focused on trending topics within 3D printing and ... manufacturing event will take place June 13-15, 2017 at the ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... , April 11, 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. ... technology company, announces the appointment of independent Directors Mr. ... to its Board of Directors, furthering the company,s corporate governance ... Gino ... we look forward to their guidance and benefiting from their ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... Lithuania, announced today that they have entered into a multiyear collaboration to identify ... CRISPR researchers with additional tools for gene editing across all applications. , Under ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... AMRI, a global ... industries to improve patient outcomes and quality of life, will now be offering ... being attributed to new regulatory requirements for all new drug products, including the ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... its endogenous context, enabling overexpression experiments and avoiding the use of exogenous expression ... guides is transformative for performing systematic gain-of-function studies. , This complement to ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... it will be hosting a Webinar titled, “Pathology is going digital. Is your ... on digital pathology adoption best practices and how Proscia improves lab economics and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: