California Matters: What’s the Buzz about Wild Bees?
Hang out with Mark Bittman at the organic Full Belly Farm in Guinda, CA. UC Berkeley’s Claire Kremen, a conservation biologist and faculty co-director of the Berkeley Food Institute, is an expert in pollination and diversified farming techniques. As they survey the scenic farm, Claire explains why it’s important to use native pollinators for crops.
Policy Analysis Paper: Policy Mainstreaming of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services with a Focus on Pollination
Terra Rose, Claire Kremen, Ann Thrupp, Barbara Gemmill-Herren, Benjamin Graue, and Nadine Azzu
The Berkeley Food Institute collaborated with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to author this publication. It considers the mainstreaming of ecosystem services at both national and international levels, with a focus on pollination services. Following work undertaken through the GEF/UNEP/FAO Global Pollination Project, and through funding from the Norwegian Environment Agency, this publication addresses the interface between science and policy as a contribution to the work of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Download the full pdf here.
Policies to Protect Pollinators: Actions Needed to Avert a Global Crisis in Agriculture
Terra Rose, Claire Kremen, and Ann Thrupp
This policy action brief outlines the following recommendations: 1. Support pollinator-friendly pesticide policies; 2. Conserve pollinator habitats; 3. Value ecosystem services; 4. Ensure participation and empowerment of diverse stakeholders; and 5. Support collaborative research and outreach. Download the full pdf here.
UC Berkeley Urban Bee Lab
Gordon Frankie, Professor of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, and his research group has been working since 1987 on documenting bee diversity and bee frequencies on wild California plants in several northern California sites. Since the late 1990s the group has sampled bees in residential areas of the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area they have found about 90 species of bees, most of which are native to California. Once sampling is completed in other urban residential areas of the Bay Area they expect this number to increase well beyond 100. The research has found that the bees have definite preferences for plants and that certain bee groups can be expected to forage for pollen and nectar on certain plants, and at certain frequencies, regardless of whether the plants are native or exotic to California. This information was used to create an experimental bee garden, with the most preferred plants on the Berkeley campus of the University of California. The garden is also serving as an outreach tool for advising gardeners, teachers, and other urbanites on planning their own gardens that will encourage bees and other flower visitors. More information on the Urban Bee Lab here.
California Almond Pollination Fact Sheet
A fact sheet introducing growers to the benefits of combining different pollinator species to help growers ensure reliable pollination in almond orchards. The document includes four tips for supporting pollinators. This fact sheet was created by the Integrated Crop Pollination Project, a partnership involving Michigan State University, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, USDA, AgPollen, and the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. This project was supported by USDA-NIFA Specialty Crop Research Initiative Grant.
Infographics on Hedgerows for Native Bees
Important ecosystem service providers like native bees need habitat to persist in agricultural areas. Growers have adopted the habitat restoration technique of planting strips of native plants along farm edges (hedgerows) to help diversify the landscape, without removing arable land from production. This infographic series gives an overview of a decode-long study on whether small, on-farm restorations like hedgerows have the potential to support native bee communities while also enhancing pollination services to crops.
Infographics on Wild Native Bees
Wild, native bees are excellent crop pollinators, but managing agricultural landscapes to support wild bees, which are often solitary, can be complex because wild bee nesting strategies are radically different from managed, colonial honey bees. Wild bees nest in plant stems and bare soil within and around agricultural fields. This infographic series depicts how wild bees nest, where they nest in agricultural landscapes, and how growers can manage their farms to support populations of wild bees.
These infographics were created by Hillary Sardiñas in collaboration with the Hedgerow Working Group, the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, the Integrated Crop Pollination Project, and the Berkeley Food Institute; The project was supported by a Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education grant and the UC Berkeley College of Natural Resources Graduate Extension program.