At least three quarters of the flowering crop and wild plant species are fully or partly dependent on insect pollination for reproduction and a third of our global food production comes from insect pollinated crops. Honey bees are used to pollinate crops, but recent findings indicate that wild pollinators, such as bumble bees, solitary bees and hoverflies, are much more important than previously thought. In our research group, we study the importance of insect pollination for crop yields and wild plant reproduction in a range of plant species.
Bumble bees are particularly important pollinators in northern temperate regions. They are, just as the honey bee, social, forming colonies with one queen and several workers. Bees are central place foragers, departing from their central nest in search of nectar as flight fuel and pollen to feed the offspring. We use landscape ecological studies and foraging theory to explore how bees respond to foraging resources in the landscapes surrounding their nests.
From all over the world there are reports of bee declines and changes in the community composition of pollinators, attributed to the large scale land use changes occurring in agricultural landscapes. In our research group, we investigate the effectiveness of different mitigation measure, such as flower strips, and landscape features, such as semi-natural grasslands, in supporting pollinators and the pollination services they provide.
Previous research within this subject has resulted in the following dissertations
- Georg Andersson, PhD thesis
Effects of farming practice on pollinators and pollination across space and time – lup.lub.lu.se.
- Anna Persson, PhD thesis
Effects of landscape context on populations of bumblebees – lunduniversity.lu.se
- Maj Rundlöf, PhD thesis
Biodiversity in agricultural landscapes: Landscape and scale-dependent effects of organic farming – lup.lub.lu.se.