Ireland’s Tragic Bee Movie

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bumble-beeGet a hanky.

As you  may know Irish farmers have just finished sowing their winter cereal crops….including oilseed rape.

Dr Dara Stanley writes:

I wanted to let you know about a study we have been doing In Trinity College Dublin on crop pollination by bees and other pollinators in Ireland.

Our paper [published online today – link below] found that oilseed rape crops produce 27% less seed when not visited by pollinators, which amounts as a benefit of €3.9 million of oilseed rape pollination to Irish Economy.

Oilseed rape flowers that were pollinated only by wind, where bees and other insects were excluded, produced on average 27% less seed than those that were visited by insects”

Fantastic.

G’wan the bee and others.

However, the story is not all good news. A recent EU ban on certain neo-nicotinoid pesticides for use on flowering crops is based on evidence that these pesticides can harm bees; and these pesticides are commonly used in oilseed rape, especially as seed dressings. This indicates a mismatch between the benefits of pollination to the crop and harmful impacts of pesticides on bees.

Thanks, Dr Buzzkill.

Mmf.

Pollinators and pollination of oilseed rape crops (Brassica napus L.) in Ireland: ecological and economic incentives for pollinator conservation (Dr Dara Stanley, Dara A. Stanley, Daryl Gunning, Jane C. Stout