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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Attractiveness of common insectary and harvestable floral resources to beneficial insects

Published source details

Hogg B.N., Bugg R.L. & Daane K.M. (2011) Attractiveness of common insectary and harvestable floral resources to beneficial insects. Biological Control, 56, 76-84


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

Pollination: Plant flowers Mediterranean Farmland

A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2009 on an organic farm in Sonoma County, California, USA, found that honey bees Apis mellifera and wild bees preferred different flower species planted in flower strips surrounding kale plots, and this varied seasonally. Implementation options: From 24 June to 10 July, more honey bees were found on wild mustard Brassica sp. (11 visits/sample), compared to other species in peak bloom (0–5), but visits by wild bees did not differ significantly between these species (0.1–1.6). From 10 to 22 July, more honey bees were found on tansy phacelia Phacelia tanacetifolia (28 vs 0–4 visits/sample) and wild arugula Diplotaxis muralis (19 vs 0–4), and more wild bees were found on phacelia (5.4 vs 0–2.4), compared to other species in peak bloom. From 5 to 19 August, more honey bees were found on white borage Borago officinalis (33 vs 0–11 visits/sample), and more wild bees were found on phacelia (6.2 vs 0.1–2.0), compared to other species in peak bloom. From 9 to 23 September, more honey bees were found on borage (10 visits/sample), compared to other species in peak bloom (0–1), but visits by wild bees did not differ significantly between these species (1.0–2.5). Methods: Two rows of kale Brassica oleracea, between two strips (four rows) of one flower species, were planted on 16 May in each plot (3 x 6 m). There were five replicate plots for each of nine flower species. Invertebrates were sampled by counting flower visitors (6 minutes/plot, every 5–9 days) or vacuuming plants (15 seconds/plot, 25 x 50 cm area, every 12–15 days).

 

Pest regulation: Plant flowers Mediterranean Farmland

A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2009 on an organic farm in Sonoma County, California, USA, found that natural enemies and pests preferred different flower species planted in flower strips surrounding kale plots. Implementation options: More hoverflies were found on sweet alyssum Lobularia maritima (4–5.8 visits/sample), compared to other flower species in peak bloom (0.2–1.4), except buckwheat Fagopyrum esculentum (3.3 from 24 June to 10 July). More predatory bugs were found on alyssum (3.6 individuals/sample), compared to other species (0.1–1.1), except buckwheat (1.6) and wild mustard Brassica sp. (1.6). More parasitic wasps were found on cosmos Cosmos sulphureus (3.5 individuals/sample), compared to other species (0.3–0.7), except alyssum (1.4), wild arugula Diplotaxis muralis (1.0), and kale Brassica oleracea (3.9). Numbers of spiders did not differ significantly between species (0.1–1.0 individual/sample). More chrysomelid beetles were found on arugula (1.7 individuals/sample), compared to other species (0–0.6), except white borage Borago officinalis and alyssum (0.6–1.0). More cicadellid bugs were found on tansy phacelia Phacelia tanacetifolia (25 vs 1–10 individuals/sample), and more lygaeid bugs were found on arugula (23 vs 0–3), compared to other species. Aphid numbers did not differ significantly between flower-strip species, but more aphids were found on kale than on flower-strip species (480 vs 0–0.9 individuals/sample). Methods: Two rows of kale, between two strips (four rows) of one flower species, were planted on 16 May in each plot (3 x 6 m). There were five replicate plots for each of nine flower species. Invertebrates were sampled by counting flower visitors (6 minutes/plot, every 5–9 days) or vacuuming plants (15 seconds/plot, 25 x 50 cm area, every 12–15 days).