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The buzz about pesticides

Bees, the most important pollinators of our crops, are in trouble. All over the world, their populations are decreasing and scientists want to know why. In this video, Nigel Raine and Richard Gill introduce us to the bumblebees they study at Royal Holloway near London. Their experiments show that two commonly used pesticides affect foraging behaviour and brood development, making bumblebee colonies more likely to fail.

The priority knowledge needs and the process of agreeing them are described in this publication

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Insect Pollinators: Linking Research and Policy

The workshop brought together 59 scientists, policy-makers and other stakeholders (including industry) from across Europe to discuss insect pollination from four different perspectives: pollinator diversity, pollinator health, pesticide impacts on pollinators and the economics of pollination.

Policy-makers need robust evidence to develop appropriate policies relating to insect pollination. Researchers around the world are engaged in a variety of projects to understand fully the problems facing pollinators, and to support the development of new strategies and interventions. The concept for the workshop grew from the policy need to understand the different messages coming from various media and lobby groups regarding insect pollinators, their role in pollination, their decline and speculation as to how this might affect global food production.

The workshop participants shared and exchanged their expertise in research, policy and best practice to identify the key research and policy priorities in insect pollination.

The final 34-page report includes a two-page executive summary of recommendations, followed by the detailed outputs of each of the four working groups. The research and policy priorities identified are clearly presented in nine individual tables.

For specific questions regarding the report’s content, please contact the coordinating author, Dr Adam Vanbergen, from the NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, who is the science co-ordinator of the UK Insect Pollinators Initiative ajv@ceh.ac.uk

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