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Agroforestry Boosts Pollinator Numbers, Research Shows

Research by the University of Reading, published in the journal Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, provides the first observed evidence that agroforestry increases wild insect pollinator numbers and increases pollination. The research team found that agroforestry sites had double the number of solitary bees and hoverflies compared to monocultures, and in arable agroforestry sites there were 2.4 times more bumblebees. Solitary bee species richness also increased tenfold at some sites. These increases in wild insect pollinators resulted in more pollination. Study leader Dr. Alexa Varah noted, “Our study finally provides some proof that agroforestry is win-win for wild pollinators and for farmers growing crops that need pollinating.”