The effect of agri‐environment schemes on Bombus terrestris colony success

Crowther, Lucy I. and Reader, Tom and Gilbert, Francis (2022) The effect of agri‐environment schemes on Bombus terrestris colony success. Ecological Entomology, 47 (5). pp. 911-914. ISSN 0307-6946

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As with other species linked to agricultural environments, many bumblebee species are exhibiting significant population declines. This study assesses the success of colonies of Bombus terrestris audax on farms differing in conservation inputs via agri-environment schemes (AES). B. terrestris audax colonies were placed on farms of three treatments: Conventionally managed, AES Entry-Level Stewardship (ELS), or AES Higher-Level Stewardship. Colonies on AES-compliant farms gained significantly more mass than those on conventional farms, which decreased in mass. Nests on conventional farms were also more likely to become infested by the wax moth Aphomia sociella, followed by ELS-compliant farms. The results suggest that adopting an AES can increase bumblebee colony success through the production of larger colonies and with greater ability to combat parasite infestations.

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Journal Article
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Ecological Entomology
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10 May 2022 10:15
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 11:26