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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Numbers of bumblebee workers enhanced on field margins sown with legume-rich seed mix on 41 farms in England and Scotland

Published source details

Edwards M. (2008) Syngenta Operation Bumblebee Monitoring Report 2005-2008. Report to Syngenta, 2005-2008


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Sow uncropped arable field margins with an agricultural nectar and pollen mix Bee Conservation

In a replicated, controlled study (2005-2008), across 41 farms in England and Scotland, the average number of worker bumblebees was greater on margins where legume-rich seed mix was established than on other field margins (grassy margins or track edges; Edwards 2008). No formal statistical analysis were performed on these data. There was an observed decline in the relative number of foraging worker bumblebees on these margins after they had been established for more than three years (data from five farms).

Plant nectar flower mixture/wildflower strips Farmland Conservation

A replicated, controlled study from 2005 to 2008 in England and Scotland (Edwards 2008) found the average number of worker bumblebees Bombus spp. was greater on margins where legume-rich seed mix was established than on other field margins (grassy margins or track edges). There was an observed decline in the relative number of foraging worker bumblebees on legume-sown margins after they had been established for more than three years (data from five farms). No formal statistical analyses were performed on these data. On each of 41 farms, four 100 x 2 m field margins were surveyed for bumblebees. Two of the margins were sown with a legume-rich seed mix in either April 2005, 2007 or 2008. The other two margins were track edges or grassy margins. Bumblebee surveys were made on all four margins on each farm from 2005 to 2008, twice in June/early July and late July/early August.