Decline in native UK bee population numbers could spell disaster for pollinating crops

Mail Online | 3/26/2019 | Colin Fernandez Environment Correspondent For The Daily Mail
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Britain's bee population is under threat - with one third of species suffering declines, research has shown.

The decline in bees and another key species, hoverflies, could spell trouble for Britain’s farmers in the future as they rely on the insects to pollinate crops.

Gardeners - Bees - Parts - Lawns - Experts

But gardeners can help bees by letting parts of their lawns grow longer, experts say, and allow patches of wild flowers to grow.

While around 34 per cent of pollination is carried out by domesticated honeybees kept in hives, much of the rest of the work is carried out by bees and hoverflies.

Value - Insects - UK - Economy - £690

The value of pollinating insects to the UK economy has been estimated at £690 million per year.

So any impact on the ‘services’ provided by bees and hoverflies could have a big financial impact.

Scientists - Records - Volunteer - Nature - Observers

Scientists examined 715,392 biological records submitted by volunteer nature observers between 1980 and 2013.

They found on average, the geographic range of bees and hoverflies declined by about a quarter, with greater losses in the upland areas of northern Britain where species fell by 55 per cent while species in southern Britain fell by 25 per cent.

Rarer - Species - Declines - Research

In general, rarer, more specialist species were being hit hardest by declines, the research suggested.

There had been, however, increases in 12 per cent of species - mainly wild bees that act as ‘key pollinators’ for crops such as oilseed...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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