Pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, visit flowers to harvest their nectar and pollen. They play a crucial role in flower reproduction, transferring pollen and fertilising flowers as they go from plant to plant.

Recent data shows pollinator numbers to be in decline, causing global concern. This is especially worrying for agriculture as at least 1/3 of the total volume of agricultural produce relies on pollination. This includes such everyday foods as fruits, nuts, beans and coffee. 

Insect pollinators also play a crucial part in wild food chains. An estimated 94% of the flowering plants in tropical regions cannot be pollinated any other way. This makes insect pollinators incredibly valuable, worth an estimated global value of 265bn Euros.

The declines are due to a wide range of threats including diseases, invasive species, habitat loss and climate change. The loss of 97% of the UK's wildflowers since the 1930s has made two bees locally extinct.  Central Europe, Northern Europe, the United States and Asia are all reporting losses. To reverse these declines managers must use holistic approaches that address all of these threats. 

CEH work on pollinators

Projects

The impacts of neonicotinoids on honeybees
 

Detail from Land Cover plus Crops Map 2015 showing crop types
Digital mapping of arable cropping on an annual basis
iLEAPS
Theme for 5th Integrated Land Ecosystem-Atmosphere Processes Study (iLEAPS) to focus on understanding the impact of land-atmosphere exchanges
Insect hoarding cage
Licensing/development opportunity
Fields in Wales
Farmers, land managers and foresters contributing to improvements in Welsh countryside for people and nature, new report shows
Fields in Wales
Mae ffermwyr, rheolwyr tir a choedwigwyr yn cyfrannu at wella cefn gwlad Cymru ar gyfer pobl a byd natur, yn ôl adroddiad newydd
Asian hornet
Role of citizen science highlighted at British Ecological Society Symposium on invasive non-native species

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