Osgathorpe LM, Park K & Goulson D (2012) The use of off-farm habitats by foraging bumblebees in agricultural landscapes: Implications for conservation management. Apidologie, 43 (2), pp. 113-127. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13592-011-0083-z
Recent studies have focused on ways to enhance floral availability on arable farmland, but little attention has been paid to the importance of off-farm habitats in providing forage for pollinators within farmed landscapes. We conducted a comparative study to assess bumblebees and flower abundance on farmed and off-farm habitats in two low-intensity systems in the UK, the Somerset Levels and the Outer Hebrides. In both farming systems, both on- and off-farm habitats contributed to the mosaic of bumblebee forage. In the Somerset Levels, track edges and road verges were particularly important sources of forage for long-tongued bumblebees. Cattle-grazed pasture in Somerset and winter-grazed pasture in the Outer Hebrides were also notable sources of bumblebee forage. Non-agricultural habitats need to be integrated into local land management plans to ensure the provision of forage for bumblebees throughout the breeding season.
Bombus; foraging; habitat use; road verge; grazing
Apidologie: Volume 43, Issue 2