Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Declining Bee Numbers Raise Concerns Over Plant Pollination

Date:
May 11, 2007
Source:
Teagasc
Summary:
A decline in bee diversity and abundance linked to habitat loss and disease in Europe together with a 50% drop in the number of managed honeybee colonies throughout North America are part of a global phenomenon known as the 'pollination crisis'.

A decline in bee diversity and abundance around the globe has been deemed a 'pollination crisis'.
Credit: Scott Bauer, USDA/ARS (Agricultural Research Services)

A decline in bee diversity and abundance linked to habitat loss and disease in Europe together with a 50% drop in the number of managed honeybee colonies throughout North America are part of a global phenomenon known as the ‘pollination crisis’.

Related Articles


Over 80% of crops in Europe are pollinated by insects and the contribution of bumblebees to Irish agriculture is often underestimated. Bees are responsible for most crop pollination and are often actively introduced by farmers into crops to improve production. Each year, Irish growers import hundreds of commercial bumblebee colonies from mainland Europe to improve fruit quality and yield. However, without proper management, this could lead to the introduction of new diseases in native bumblebee populations. The nature of the bee pollination service in Ireland has changed quite dramatically over the last ten years.

Crops such as apples, pears and berries are entirely dependent on pollinators for fruit production, while in crops like oilseed rape, sunflowers, peppers and tomatoes, visits by pollinating insects like bees improve the quality and quantity of fruit and seeds produced. Recent intensification of agriculture in the United States has necessitated the direct and large-scale importation of honeybees to pollinate crops such as alfalfa and almonds.

Researchers at Teagasc Oak Park are working on the management of diseases in honeybees and the protection of native bumblebees through the proper management and containment of imported species. This research is featured in the latest issue of TResearch, Teagasc’s research and innovation magazine, and is particularly relevant considering the emergence of ‘Colony Collapse Disorder’, which is devastating US bee populations.

The Varroa mite (Varroa destructor) was accidentally introduced into Ireland and was first detected in Sligo in 1998. Early attempts at containment failed and it has now spread to most parts of the country. Teagasc has conducted research on Varroa since the mite was first found in Ireland. Varroa infestation has also been associated with an increased incidence of viral diseases in bees. Research at Teagasc is developing alternative Varroa management strategies that are suitable for Irish climatic conditions.

“By improving Varroa management and understanding the dynamics of bee diseases, Teagasc research aims to contribute to increased honeybee densities in the Irish countryside,” explains Dr Finbarr Horgan, Teagasc Oak Park Crop Research Centre.

“The effective management of Varroa and associated diseases in honeybees, as well as the protection of native bumblebees through the proper management and containment of imported species, is expected to improve pollination efficiency and contribute to sustained increases in crop productivity.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Teagasc. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Teagasc. "Declining Bee Numbers Raise Concerns Over Plant Pollination." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 May 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070510114621.htm>.
Teagasc. (2007, May 11). Declining Bee Numbers Raise Concerns Over Plant Pollination. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070510114621.htm
Teagasc. "Declining Bee Numbers Raise Concerns Over Plant Pollination." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070510114621.htm (accessed November 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pygmy Marmoset Getting a Toothbrush Massage Is the Cutest

Pygmy Marmoset Getting a Toothbrush Massage Is the Cutest

Buzz60 (Nov. 19, 2014) This rescued pygmy marmoset named Ninita is obsessed with her toothbrush. It's cuteness overload, and Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the amazing video. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Are Chocolate Makers So Worried?

Why Are Chocolate Makers So Worried?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Nov. 19, 2014) Two big chocolate producers are warning the popular treat could run out by 2020 because people are eating it faster than farmers can grow cocoa. Ciara Lee reports Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tiny Hamster Eating Thanksgiving Meal Breaks the Internet

Tiny Hamster Eating Thanksgiving Meal Breaks the Internet

Buzz60 (Nov. 19, 2014) A tiny hamster and a bunny and rat enjoy a tiny Thanksgiving meal where they stuff themselves to the brim. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the cute video. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Giant Panda at Toronto Zoo Loves Somersaulting in the Snow

Giant Panda at Toronto Zoo Loves Somersaulting in the Snow

Buzz60 (Nov. 19, 2014) A giant panda at the Toronto Zoo named Da Mao is celebrating the northeast snowfall by playing and tumbling in the snow in his outdoor enclosure. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins