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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: The conservation and enhancement of bumblebees in intensively farmed landscapes

Published source details

Carvell C., Pywell R. & Meek W. (2007) The conservation and enhancement of bumblebees in intensively farmed landscapes. Aspects of Applied Biology, 81, 247-254


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

Plant nectar flower mixture/wildflower strips Farmland Conservation

A 2007 review of two studies in England (Carvell et al. 2007b) found that margins sown with a nectar and pollen mix consistently attracted more foraging bumblebees Bombus spp. than other field margin options. Two replicated controlled trials (Pywell et al. 2006, Carvell et al. 2007a) monitored the use of arable field margins sown with grass, wildflower and pollen and nectar seed mixes. One used six sites (Carvell et al. 2007a), the other 32 sites (Pywell et al. 2006). Both studies found higher numbers of bumblebees on margins sown with pollen and nectar mix, although the number of bumblebee individuals and species increased over time in the wildflower mix in one study (Carvell et al. 2007a), and supported higher numbers of some species in the other (Pywell et al. 2006). The review recommends pollen and nectar mix for a rapid and positive impact on the number of foraging bumblebees, but suggests that wildflower mix is important in catering for a wider range of bumblebee species across the whole season.