Monitoring pollinators on your farm
Many pollinators such as bumblebees, butterflies, and hoverflies are easy to observe foraging on a variety of flowers on warm sunny days. Farmers are familiar with monitoring pest species, and the importance of monitoring beneficial insects such as pollinators is becoming more widely recognised. Monitoring pollinator populations can help:
- Provide an indication of how healthy an agro-ecosystem is and act as an early warning system in times of change.
- Provide information on the abundance and diversity of crop pollinators to indicate how well crops are being pollinated.
- Provide information on the effectiveness of agri-environment measures aimed to increase pollinators.
There are several robust monitoring schemes for insect pollinators which provide user-friendly guidelines and a range on resources:
- The Pollinator Monitoring Scheme (PoMS) run by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
- The BeeWalk Survey Scheme run by the Bumblebee Conservation Trust
- The UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme run by Butterfly Conservation
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