pollinators Tag

A diversity of bees is more important to pollination than previously realized, based on the findings of a research team published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The team found that the more plant diversity in an area, the more species of bees are needed to achieve complete pollination. Some bees specialize in pollinating specific plants and these rare species can be key to ecosystem health. This study provides support for the necessity of biological diversity. Researchers found that an entire meadow community needed twice as many to more than seven times as many bee species for pollination as...

Researchers at North Carolina State University have found that soybean crops planted near pollinator habitat produce larger soybeans than soybean crops that are not planted near pollinator habitat, according to a press release. The study compared soybean fields with wildflower seed mixes planted adjacent to them to fields with habitat at least a kilometer distant from them. Fields with habitat nearby had more species of bees. The researchers also found that bees in the soybean fields located far from pollinator habitats were often leaving the soybean fields to visit flowers completely outside of the study area. Bees in soybean fields...

Related ATTRA publication: Alternative Pollinators: Native Bees Research by Oregon State University is shedding light on the diversity and habits of native bees, reports the Capital Press. Understanding where bees occur and what plants they interact with can provide farmers with insight about how to support native bee populations, which can lead to improved pollination for farmers, as well as greater biodiversity on farms. Trained volunteers have helped compile the Oregon Bee Atlas, to provide a better understanding of the bee species in the state which flowers they visit. ...

Terranova Ranch is dedicated to producing more than 25 premium quality crops as effectively, productively, and sustainably as possible in the central San Joaquin Valley of California. Toward that end, they have implemented a wide variety of conservation and regenerative agriculture practices, including sustainable irrigation practices and conservation hedgerows. In this video, Don Cameron, General Manager and Vice President of Terranova Ranch, discusses conservation hedgerows, including their benefits and challenges, along with do's and don'ts for hedgerow design and installation. Since planting these hedgerows just two years ago, Don has seen a wide variety of positive changes at the ranch, including...

Related ATTRA Publication: A Pictorial Guide to Hedgerow Plants for Beneficial Insects A large-scale survey carried out by the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, partners, and more than 1,000 landowners across the country highlighted the importance of pollinator habitat. It found that woodland and hedgerow creation, along with other actions such as restoring wildflower meadows and organic farming with mass-flowering crops, can play a crucial role in action to reverse declines in insects that are essential for crop yield and other wildlife. Researchers found up to twice as many insects in broadleaved woodland areas as in intensively farmed grassland. They also...

Related ATTRA Publication: A Pictorial Guide to Hedgerow Plants for Beneficial Insects The North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC) presented its Business for Bees Sustainability Award—an honor reserved for standout organizations that go above and beyond to support pollinators—to the Almond Board of California (ABC) and the state's almond farmers. NAPPC cited ABC's leadership in founding the California Pollinator Coalition, its work promoting on-farm pollinator habitat and its support of years of research and education about the best practices for providing hospitable environments for pollinators in almond orchards and in other habitats. Also, in recent years, California's Central Valley almond farmers have...

A study involving 21 scientists from five continents concluded that 175,000 plant species, or half of all flowering plants, rely mostly or completely on animal pollinators to make seeds. Specifically, a third of flowering plant species globally would produce no seeds without animal pollinators, and half would suffer an 80% or more reduction in fertility. This means that current declines in pollinator populations could cause major disruptions in natural ecosystems, including loss of biodiversity. Professor Mark van Kleunen, a co-author from the University of Konstanz, says it is not a case of all pollinators disappearing: "If there are fewer pollinators...

An agroecologist at the University of Göttingen published an article in One Earth, pointing out that encouraging pollinators is a particularly important way for smallholder farmers to increase agricultural yields. Better pollination services not only increase the amount of fruit that crops produce but can also increase the nutrient content and improve storage life, according to Professor Teja Tscharntke. He recommends restoring agricultural landscapes for ecosystem services. "Pollination services in agriculture should be given more attention, in addition to pest regulation and good nutrient supply."...

In this episode of Voices from the Field, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Mike Lewis sits down with Dr. Tom Webster from Kentucky State University Cooperative Extension Services to talk about the role pollinators play in farm ecosystems, how to attract more pollinators, and how to protect them when they arrive. It all comes down to planning, and Dr. Webster offers some great strategies for increasing pollinator health and diversity on your farm. ATTRA Resources: A Pictorial Guide to Hedgerow Plants for Beneficial Insects Alternative Pollinators: Native Bees Contact Mike Lewis via email at mikel@ncat.org. Please complete a brief survey to let us know...

In this episode of Voices from the Field, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Asha Tillman shares the story of James Burch, who left Carroll County, Mississippi, for the military and other pursuits some 40 years ago. Now, he has returned to pursue his dream of starting Coleman’s Farm. As a beginning farmer, Mr. Burch is full of plans and advice for other beginning farmer veterans. ATTRA Resources: Armed to Farm: Sustainable Agriculture Training for Military Veterans Farm Start-Up Beginning Farmer Tutorials A Beginning Farmer Tells Her Story Other Resources: AgPlan Using an Excel Sheet for Farm Financial Records USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service...