Linking farmer and beekeeper preferences with ecological knowledge to improve crop pollination

Tom D. Breeze*, Virginie Boreux, Lorna J Cole, Lynn Dicks, Alexandra-Maria Klein, Gesine Pufal, Mario Balzan, Danilo Bevk, Laura Bortolotti, Theodora Petanidou, Marika Mand, M Alice Pinto, Jeroen Scheper, Ljubiša Stanisavljević, Menelaos C. Stavrinides, Thomas Tscheulin, Androulla Varnava, David Kleijn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)
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1. Pollination by insects is a key input into many crops, with managed honeybees often being hired to support pollination services. Despite substantial research into pollination management, no European studies have yet explored how and why farmers managed pollination services and few have explored why beekeepers use certain crops.
2. Using parallel surveys of beekeepers and farmers in 10 European countries, this study examines beekeeper and farmer perceptions and motivations surrounding crop pollination.
3. Almost half of the farmers surveyed believed they had pollination service deficits in one or more of their crops.
4. Few farmers hired managed pollinators, however most undertook at least one form of agri-environment management known to benefit pollinators, although few did so to promote pollinators.
5. Beekeepers were ambivalent towards many mass flowering crops, with some beekeepers using crops for their honey that other beekeepers avoid because of perceived pesticide risks.
6. The findings identify a number of opportunities for further collaboration between farmers and beekeepers and the knowledge gaps that need to be resolved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)562-572
JournalPeople and Nature
Issue number4
Early online date29 Oct 2019
Publication statusPrint publication - Dec 2019


  • Pollination
  • Sustainable agriculture
  • Honeybee
  • Crop production
  • Pollinator
  • Bee
  • Farmer
  • Beekeeper


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