Study Shows Nectar and Pollen Help Predatory Insects Live Longer

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen released a new study that shows predatory insects live longer when they have access to nectar and pollen. The researchers note that planting flowering margins and strips in fields provides farmers with both pollination support and habitat to sustain predatory insects throughout the season. Insect predators such as hoverflies, lacewings, minute pirate bugs, phytoseiid mites, and two-spot ladybugs can survive on pollen when their insect prey is lacking. Thus, planting flowers that bloom both early and late in the season can help sustain beneficial insect populations throughout the season. “[W]e are looking at how to design mixed flowering strips and flowering margins that benefit both predatory insects and pollinators. This will reduce the need for other forms of pest control while supporting biodiversity,” explained one of the study authors.