UK experiencing ‘widespread’ decline of insect pollinators, new study claims

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Image: Ludmila Smite/Fotolia

Great Britain is in great trouble….it’s running out of pollinators. The Center for Ecology & Hydrology measured the presence of 353 wild bee and hoverfly species across the UK from 1980 up to 2013. According to a new study, one-third of the investigated species saw a decline in the number of areas in which they were found over this time frame, while one-tenth saw an increase. The remainder of species either had stable population trends or only saw inconclusive changes.

The study analyzed over 700,000 records, most collected by members of the Bees, Wasps and Ants Recording Society (BWARS) and the UK Hoverfly Recording Scheme, who looked at more than 19,000 1km by 1km squares across Great Britain. The team writes that it’s possibly the first….large-scale, long-term, species-specific [study] of distribution change for pollinating insects in Britain.

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One positive finding of the study was that key bee species — those responsible for pollinating flowering crops — have actually seen an uptick in numbers. They say this could be an effect of….government-subsidized schemes that encourage farmers to plant more of the wildflowers the bees feed on.

Read full, original article: Britain is going through a “widespread loss” of pollinating insects, study reports

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