BES POST Seminar on Insect Pollination – 20 January 2010

On 20 January a joint BES, Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) seminar will explore the causes and consequences of declines in insect pollinators. The event will see the formal launch of POSTnote 348 on ‘Insect Pollination’, authored by the 2009 BES POST Fellow, Rebecca Ross.

Pollination is the transfer of pollen from one flower to another, enabling plant reproduction. Pollination by insects is therefore vital for the maintenance of biodiversity and agricultural production. 80% of British wildflowers and 84% of EU crops depend on insect pollinators, mainly bees. Loss of pollinators would cost UK agriculture an estimated £400m per annum, representing 12% of agricultural revenue. Evidence is mounting that British bee species, such as honeybees and bumblebees, are in decline, which could threaten future agricultural productivity and cause further biodiversity loss. What is causing this decline, and is further action needed to restore our pollinators?

We will hear from expert speakers on the scientific and practical aspects of maintaining a healthy pollinator population and there will be a chance to discuss such topics as:

• Does pollinator decline pose a significant threat to the UK?
• What research do we need to understand pollinator decline and mitigate
its effects?
• What can we do to improve the health of managed honeybees?
• What policies do we need to maintain wild pollinators in the landscape
despite increasing demands on land for housing, fuel and food?

For further information and details on how to register for a place at this event, see the ‘Forthcoming Policy Meetings’ section of the BES website.