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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: The effect of agri-environmental schemes on species richness of bumble bees

Published source details

Viik E., Mänd M., Karise R., Koskor E., Jõgar K., Kevväi R., Martin A. & Grishakova M. (2007) The effect of agri-environmental schemes on species richness of bumble bees. Pages 145-148 in: Agronomy, Estonian Research Institute of Agriculture. Estonian Research Institute of Agriculture, Sacu.

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Pay farmers to cover the cost of conservation measures (as in agri-environment schemes) Farmland Conservation

A replicated site comparison study in four regions of Estonia (Viik et al. 2007) found more bumblebee Bombus spp. species and higher flower abundance on farms with agri-environment agreements in two of the four regions. In the central Estonian regions, with large fields and homogenous agriculture (Tartu and Jõgeva), organic and Environmentally Friendly Production Scheme farms had more bumblebee species than conventional farms (8-9 species/farm on organic or agri-environment farms, compared to around 5 species/conventional farm). There was no difference in numbers of bumblebee species or flower abundance between types of farm in the south and west Estonian regions (Võru and Saare). Bumblebees were monitored on 22 farms in each region - ten organic farms, six in the Environmentally Friendly Production Scheme and six conventional farms with no environmental agreement. Bumblebees were counted on 500 x 2 m transects, six times between June and August 2006, on days with temperature above 16 °C and wind speed less than 6 m/s. Flower abundance was assessed on the transects using a four point scale.