Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

EU policy is driving up demand for pollination faster than honeybee numbers

Date:
January 9, 2014
Source:
Pensoft Publishers
Summary:
A new study indicates that demand for pollination services has risen five times as fast as the number of colonies across Europe. The findings indicate that, although the total number of honeybee colonies increased in some European countries, the demands for the pollination services supplied by these pollinators has increased much faster due to the increasing demand for biofuel feedstocks.

Demand for pollination services has risen five times as fast as the number of colonies across Europe.
Credit: Jacob Bishop; CC-BY 4.0

Research conducted by the University of Reading's Centre for Agri-Environmental Research, and funded by the EU FP7 project STEP and the Insect Pollinators Initiative Crops project, indicates that demand for pollination services has risen five times as fast as the number of colonies across Europe.

Related Articles


The study, led by Professor Simon Potts, compared the number of available honeybee colonies in 41 European countries with their demands for pollination services in the years 2005 and 2010. The findings indicate that, although the total number of honeybee colonies increased in some European countries, the demands for the pollination services supplied by these pollinators has increased much faster due to the increasing demand for biofuel feedstocks.

In just over half the countries studied, including the UK, France, Germany and Italy, honeybee stocks were found to be insufficient to supply these pollination services alone.

Dr Tom Breeze who conducted the research said "This study has shown that EU biofuel policy has had an unforeseen consequence in making us more reliant upon wild pollinators like bumblebees and hoverflies to meet demands for

this basic ecosystem service." Adding "The results don't show that wild pollinators actually do all the work, but they do show we have less security if their populations should collapse."

The findings are of particular concern for the UK which the study suggests has now less than 25% of the honeybee colonies it needs. The only country with less security is the Republic of Moldova which is both the poorest country in Europe and the most reliant upon agriculture to provide its income.

The researchers also note that, if taken as a continuous region where colonies could move freely, Europe as a whole only has two thirds of the honeybee colonies it needs, with a deficit of over 13.6 million colonies.

Many of the most important crops in Europe, such as rapeseed, sunflower, soybeans, apples and strawberries benefit from pollination by insects. As these crops are likely to become increasingly important to agricultural economies the study highlights the importance of continuing research efforts by the University of Reading and other organisations to better understand the role of different pollinators in European agriculture.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Pensoft Publishers. The original story is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Tom D. Breeze, Bernard E. Vaissière, Riccardo Bommarco, Theodora Petanidou, Nicos Seraphides, Lajos Kozák, Jeroen Scheper, Jacobus C. Biesmeijer, David Kleijn, Steen Gyldenkærne, Marco Moretti, Andrea Holzschuh, Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter, Jane C. Stout, Meelis Pärtel, Martin Zobel, Simon G. Potts. Agricultural Policies Exacerbate Honeybee Pollination Service Supply-Demand Mismatches Across Europe. PLoS ONE, 2014; 9 (1): e82996 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082996

Cite This Page:

Pensoft Publishers. "EU policy is driving up demand for pollination faster than honeybee numbers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140109103640.htm>.
Pensoft Publishers. (2014, January 9). EU policy is driving up demand for pollination faster than honeybee numbers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140109103640.htm
Pensoft Publishers. "EU policy is driving up demand for pollination faster than honeybee numbers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140109103640.htm (accessed April 21, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deepwater And Dolphins: The Oil Spill's Impact 5 Years On

Deepwater And Dolphins: The Oil Spill's Impact 5 Years On

Newsy (Apr. 20, 2015) — Five years on, the possible environmental impact of the Deepwater Horizon spill includes a sustained die-off of bottlenose dolphins, among others. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Five Years Later, the BP Oil Spill Is Still Taking Its Toll

Five Years Later, the BP Oil Spill Is Still Taking Its Toll

AFP (Apr. 20, 2015) — On April 20, 2010, an explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico started the biggest oil spill in US history. BP recently reported the Gulf is recovering well, but scientists paint a different picture. Duration: 02:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thai Customs Seize African Elephant Tusks Worth $6 Mn

Thai Customs Seize African Elephant Tusks Worth $6 Mn

AFP (Apr. 20, 2015) — Thai customs seize four tonnes of African elephant ivory worth $6 million at a Bangkok port in a container labelled as beans. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 17, 2015) — A truck carrying honey bees overturns near Lynnwood, Washington, spreading boxes of live bees across the highway. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
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