flower strips, pollination, bees

7 May 2021

Flower strips at field edges are quite popular. They’re promoted as “bee-friendly”, as increasing biodiversity in farmland. Noble goals. However, it’s a legitimate question if this is true. Some studies show contradicting results. It’s also a common criticism that with flowering strips you first attract pollinators, which are then killed by pesticide applications. This is …

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silent hunger, Year of fruit and vegetables, pollinator limitation, crop production

27 March 2021

Silent hunger means a deficiency of nutrients that affects billions of people worldwide. When wanting to eradicate hunger it’s not only about the calories – the vitamins, the minerals, and antioxidants are important, too. And that’s where pollinators come in. I already talked about the – in my opinion – missed opportunity of including pollinators in the International Year of Fruit and Vegetables. In addition …

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silent hunger, Year of fruit and vegetables, pollinator limitation, crop production

12 March 2021

FAO declared 2021 the International Year of Fruit and Vegetables. They want to attract attention to the importance of fruit and veggies for healthy nutrition. In the end, it’s also about ending poverty, as these food crops give farmers income and foster more diverse agriculture. Another objective is to reduce waste and losses in food …

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social bees, climate change

3 March 2021

Social bees – and I don’t mean only honey bees by this – are more visible than solitary species. When there’s a bumblebee colony nearby or an apiary, you will automatically see more bumblebees of this species or honey bees flying around. It’s a numbers game. However, I always insist that the bee colonies are …

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bumblebee ranges

19 February 2021

Bumblebee ranges are a bit different from other bees. As a rule of thumb, bees are most diverse in regions with Mediterranean climate. Bumblebees, on the other hand, like it cooler. I like to call them the polar bears between the bees. This is funny, because, as I learned today, in China apparently they’re called …

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impact of climate change on pollinators

12 February 2021

The impact of climate change on pollinators is complex. In the examples I gave last week, we saw how a divergence between the flowering period of a plant and the activity period of a bee species can affect the latter. Such phenological mismatches happen when plants and pollinators react differently to rising temperatures. Phenology, if …

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