While the honey bee plays an important role in pollinating our crops and garden plants, we have at least 1,500 other species of insect pollinators in the UK that play an even greater role in pollination services to growers, writes Dr Nicola Hall.
These include bumble bees, solitary bees, hoverflies, wasps, flies, beetles, butterflies and moths.
In terms of pollination activity and success, farmers and fruit growers may not know how much we rely on these native pollinators to achieve yields.
As a result of the way the landscape has changed over the last 50 or more years, not all insect pollinators can readily find the food and shelter they need.
Defra’s Pollinator Strategy, published in November 2014, is a Call to Action to address this issue by urging farmers and landowners to take a few simple steps to help meet pollinator needs.
The Campaign for the Farmed Environment will be hosting a series of events to show farmers and land managers how to enhance the value of land for pollinators, and to learn how pollinator services play a key role in their farm business success.
Land managers are invited along to a farm walk to learn more.
The walk will be guided by expert speakers include insect guru Nigel Jones from BWARS (Bees, Wasps and Ants Recording Society) who is co-author of Bees, Wasps and Ants of Shropshire, and Syngenta’s consultant advisor Marek Nowakowski from the Wildlife Farming Company, advising on how to successfully create and manage sown plots for pollinators and farmland birds.
County CFE co-ordinators will be on hand to provide information about options for future stewardship agreements, including measures for wild pollinators and wildlife that will help applications achieve higher scores in these competitive schemes.
The Campaign is supported by Syngenta’s Operation Pollinator which helps growers to successfully establish and manage pollen and nectar-rich habitats on less productive areas around the farm, with the aim of maintained and improved crop yields through adoption of these sustainable practices.
A new one-year Bees’n’Seeds mix is designed to attract and feed pollinators, along with hosting insects that are important food sources for farmland bird chicks.
Attendees will receive a voucher for a Bees’n’Seeds mix offer which they can redeem at a cost of just £50 per pack to eligible growers.
The Farm Walk will take place on Thursday, April 16, from 10.30am until 2pm with lunch provided, kindly hosted by Mr & Mrs Ellsmoor of Dorrington Hall Farm, Woore, CW3 9RR.
Spaces will be limited therefore booking is essential.
To book a place call Beth on 01270 613195 or e-mail email@example.com
* Dr Nicola Hall is Farm Environmental Advisor and Cheshire Co-ordinator for the Campaign for the Farmed Environment.