A series of nine IPI Policy & Practice Notes is being prepared and will be published online during 2014/2015 under the auspices of the Living with Environmental Change (LWEC) partnership.

  1. What is causing the decline in pollinating insects? Insect pollinator numbers are affected by many different environmental and socio-economic factors but attributing long term change in pollinator numbers to one or more of these is difficult. Scientists are beginning to understand how these different factors interact with each other, and which are more important for particular insect groups, but there is no single, simple explanation for pollinator decline. Published 04/2014. Authors: Adam J. Vanbergen, & Lynne V. Dicks.

  2. The benefits of managing pollinators for crop productionInsect pollinators are essential for food production, improving the yield and quality of three quarters of UK crops. Multiple pressures threaten pollinator

    populations and the pollination services they provide, including changing landuse, disease, climate change and agrochemicals. This has resulted in declining abundance and species richness in both managed and wild pollinator populations and threatens the stability of crop pollination services. It is therefore essential to
    conserve and manage insect pollinators as demands on food production increase. Published 11/2014. Authors: Simon Potts, Mike Garratt, Deepa Senapathi and Tom Breeze


  3. Protecting insect pollinators from pesticide risk. Pesticides can cause sub-lethal effects on the physiology and behaviour of beneficial insects which can, in turn, cause an impact on their survival and reproduction. The toxic effects of common pesticides are rarely highly specific and can pose a risk to beneficial insects such as pollinating bees. Authors: Chris Connolly, Jeri Wright and Nigel Raine

  4. How are pests and diseases affecting bee pollinators? Wild and managed pollinating bees are susceptible to a range of diseases that are being shared between species. Bees are important insect pollinators; there are over 250 species in the United Kingdom, including solitary bees, bumblebees and the managed honeybee. Together they provide a pollinating service to crops and wild flowers. Bee numbers are affected by many environmental (e.g. land management,climate) and social-economic (e.g. global trade, beekeeping) factors. Pests and diseases can act alone or in combination with other factors to cause bee declines. Scientists are beginning to understand how pests and diseases contribute to bee losses and how they are moving between bee species. Authors: Robert Paxton, Giles Budge and David Evans

  5. Crop pollination by wild and managed insects: Why diversity matters Pollination is the movement of pollen between the male (anthers) and female (stigma) parts of flowers and is essential for successful crop production and wild plant reproduction. The majority of plant species rely on flower-visiting insects for this pollination. Insect pollinators include wild bees, flies, butterflies and beetles, but managed honeybees also play an important role. Abundant and diverse pollinator communities are essential for maintaining healthy ecosystems, stable crop production, and to ensure effective pollination services in the face of continued land use and climate change. Authors: Michael Garratt, Simon Potts and Adam Vanbergen