Saturday, September 8, 2012

Wild Pollinators Boost Farm Productivity

Perhaps not many people are aware of the fact that as much as 84% of crops across the whole Europe depend on insect pollination. Although the managed honeybees pollinate certain crops, the wild honeybees, together with wasps and flies do the same job for much broader spectrum of plants, being considered as the most important pollinators.
That is why the grave decline in the number of both honeybees and wild bees that was reported in Europe over  the last years came as a threat to the agriculture and environment , bringing forth the focus on pollination services provided by the combination of honeybees and wild bees. It looks like wild bees can improve, or at least, support farm productivity helping the agriculture to sustain the desired level of crops. Additionally, wild bees are a cost – efficient way to go as they don’t need to be rented commercially provided there is sufficient high quality pollinator habitat available.
To raise the awareness among the farmers concerning the importance of wild pollinators, the EC FP7 project STEP (Status and Trends of European Pollinators) has published a farmers’ factsheet translated in 15 European languages. That is supposed to encourage farmers to take the advantage of wild insects pollination services and, as a result, cut down on relying totally on honeybees as the sole species responsible for crop production.

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