Pollinator Strategy - 2020 Progress Report

Pollinator Strategy - front cover

Introduction

Welcome to the third Annual Progress Report highlighting the range of projects helping to deliver The Pollinator Strategy for Scotland.

You will see that we have adopted a different presentation method for our 2020 report. This is presented as a fully online version, rather than a PDF. This is important as we comply with legislation making our published materials as accessible as possible. But whilst the design is different from previous years, the content follows the same structure as in previous editions.

When we were contemplating pulling this report together, back in February 2020, it was with a sense of anticipation reporting on an impressive range of pollinator-friendly projects planned over the length and breadth of Scotland. Then in March the world was turned upside down, and within weeks it became clear that 2020 would be a year like no other in living memory.

Inevitably the Covid-19 pandemic scuppered many planned projects for 2020. However, despite the challenges, a considerable number of projects were able to progress, and, focusing on the positive, we have offered a series of links to several of those projects which progressed last year. You will find these in our ‘case studies’ section. 

Your feedback on the ‘case studies’ in our first two reports was always very encouraging. We hope you will enjoy reading about the projects we highlight in this report. If so, there are more which you can enjoy reading about in our Scottish Pollinators blog where we regularly feature pollinator-friendly activities as well as articles of wider pollinator interest.

One constant in a time of change has been the five main objectives identified in the Pollinator Strategy for Scotland. These remain:

  1. To make Scotland more pollinator-friendly, halting and reversing the decline in native pollinator populations.
  2. To improve our understanding of pollinators and their pollination service.
  3. To manage the commercial use of pollinators to benefit native pollinators.
  4. To raise awareness and encourage action across sectors.
  5. To monitor and evaluate whether pollinators are thriving.

This Progress Report contains a lot of good news, and demonstrates the many far-reaching actions across Scotland which help boost pollinator populations. This vital work will benefit wider biodiversity, our food producers, our enjoyment of nature, and help us tackle biodiversity loss which, along with climate change, is a key concern in the current era.

January 2021

Contents

Our partners

In December 2015, we launched a consultation inviting views on proposals for pollinator conservation. The responses underlined the need for collaboration across sectors to promote action that would benefit our pollinators.

The resulting Strategy includes action for everyone, from Scottish Government and its agencies to conservation groups, farmers, landowners, managers, gardeners, agricultural businesses, commercial businesses and members of the public.

We are reliant on, and grateful to, the following champions of the Pollinator Strategy for Scotland for their ongoing support and project skills: 

  • Bee Farmers’ Association
  • Bee Health Improvement Team
  • Buglife
  • Bumblebee Conservation Trust
  • Butterfly Conservation Scotland
  • Central Scotland Green Network Trust
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Forestry Commission Scotland
  • Inverclydebuzz (Inverclyde Pollinator Corridor)
  • James Hutton Institute
  • Keep Scotland Beautiful
  • National Farmers’ Union, Scotland (NFUS)
  • Network Rail
  • Plantlife
  • RSPB (Scotland)
  • Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
  • Science & Advice for Scottish Agriculture
  • Scottish Government
  • Scottish Environment Protection Agency
  • Scottish Land & Estates
  • Scottish Beekeepers’ Association 
  • Soil Association
  • Scottish Farming and Wildlife Advisers’ Group
  • Scottish Quality Crops
  • Scotland’s Rural College
  • Scotland’s Farm Advisory Service
  • Scotland’s 32 local authorities
  • ScotRail
  • Scottish Wildlife Trust
  • Sustrans Scotland
  • UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Mini baler lifting arisings after meadow cut

Abbreviations

A number of abbreviations are used in the tables in this Progress Report:

  • AECS                       Agri-Environment Climate Scheme
  • AHDB                       Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board
  • BBCT                       Bumblebee Conservation Trust
  • BHIP                        Bee Health Improvement Partnership
  • BHIT                         Bee Health Improvement Team
  • UKCEH                    Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
  • CSGNT                    Central Scotland Green Network Trust
  • FIT                            Flower-insect timed (count)
  • HBHS                       Honey Bee Health Strategy for Scotland
  • HLF                          Heritage Lottery Fund
  • IPM                          Integrated Pest Management
  • JHI                           James Hutton Institute
  • JMT                          John Muir Trust
  • KSB                          Keep Scotland Beautiful
  • LBAP                        Local Biodiversity Action Plan
  • NNR                         National Nature Reserve
  • PoMS                       UK Pollinator Monitoring Scheme
  • RBGE                       Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
  • RSPB                       Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
  • SASA                       Science & Advice for Scottish Agriculture
  • SBA                          Scottish Beekeepers’ Association
  • SFAS                       Scotland’s Farm Advisory Service
  • SG                            Scottish Government
  • SNHBS                    Scottish Native Honey Bee Society
  • SQC                         Scottish Quality Crops
  • SRUC                       Scotland’s Rural College
  • SWT                         Scottish Wildlife Trust

Note: The sections which follow track the progress made towards meeting our objectives and lists projects and actions. This will be a dynamic process, and will be updated with new priorities and actions as necessary. A timescale is proposed for the core actions: S = short- (up to 5 years), M = medium- (5– 10 years) or L = long-term (10 years or more). 

Hoverfly feeding on hawthorn blossom. ©Lorne Gill/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.nature.scot

Objective 1: Pollinator-friendly habitats

What we need to do

  • Prevent further habitat loss and degradation by maintaining and improving the current diversity of semi-natural habitats,
  • Promote the restoration and creation of natural flower-rich habitats in the countryside and in urban areas, to support a national ecological network,
  • Retain connected habitat networks for wild pollinators and extend pollinator habitats to adjacent areas
  • Implement measures to protect and enhance pollinator habitats,
  • Recognise the importance of brownfield sites and manage these to benefit pollinators and other species,
  • Encourage the inclusion of pollinators’ needs in land management, and development planning and management through demonstrable biodiversity net gain,
  • Incorporate green infrastructure in developments, such as green roofs and rain gardens, to provide additional pollinator habitats, and
  • Support the use and development of pollinator-friendly pest control measures, including integrated pest management, in agricultural and urban areas, building on the principles set out in the EU Directive on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides
Project (S – short term, M – medium term, L – long term) Organisation(s) Notes
Revised regime for grass cutting across East Ayrshire education estate (S) East Ayrshire Council East Ayrshire Council trialling new pilot regimes of grass cutting in school estates. Meadows and long-grass areas feature in an initiative which will benefit both pupils and pollinators.
Falkirk Pollinator Parks – creating flower-rich habitat for pollinators, and pollinator ‘stepping stones’, within and across urban parks in Falkirk and linking to the John Muir Pollinator Way. Includes bulb planting and meadow enhancement at several sites. (S)

Buglife

Falkirk Council
Planting has now been completed at Ash, Princes, Camelon and Summerford Parks, Policy Bing and Bantaskine Estate. Native bulbs planted in autumn 2018 will complement these new meadows. The 2020 addition of equipment to enable cut and lift of long grass will enable better management of urban meadows and pollinator parks,
Inverclydebuzz, through the Inverclyde Pollinator Corridor project, creates pollinator-friendly areas across a range of sites in and around Greenock. Their work clearly shows the potential value of small urban plots and also the opportunity offered by brownfield sites. A study, funded by CSGN, explored how a pollinator corridor could be rolled out across Inverclyde using sites of vacant and derelict land.  (S) Inverclydebuzz, Inverclyde Council Shore Street Gardens, Gourock - tribute to artist George Wyllie. Planting elements include extending the flowering season from early spring into late autumn. A wild flower border incorporated into the centre of the garden. St. Michael Street play area, Greenock - has been sown with a wildflower mix by the Council instead of grassing. Belville Community Garden is fundraising for a COVID memorial pond and wetland wildflower area. 
The John Muir Pollinator Way is an inspirational landscape-scale project with considerable pollinator corridor potential. Twenty-five pollinator hotspots will create a connected habitat network along the route, building on the existing 15 sites. (L)

Buglife

CSGNT
SG, NatureScot, CSGN and Greggs Foundations funding meant target number of pollinator hotspots was exceeded. 32 sites, 8 hectares, along the 134-mileJohn Muir Way created and enhanced, working in partnership with Local Authorities.
Encouraging the inclusion of pollinator needs by creating a pollinator-friendly award recognising community creation of space managed for pollinators. (M)

KSB

NatureScot
Annual award under the ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ scheme run by KSB; an award funded by NatureScot. The 2020 winner was Bonnie Dundee for their pollinator-friendly work across the city.
Encouraging Green Infrastructure Fund grantees to maximise the benefits to pollinators within the design and management of their projects.  Battleby demonstration site houses a ‘living wall’ creation to show urban audiences how built-structures can be transformed into biodiversity hotspots with advantages for pollinators. (M) NatureScot Green Infrastructure Strategic Intervention Projects at Middlefield (Aberdeen) and Fernbrae Meadows (South Lanarkshire) contain completed pollinator-friendly elements. Similar approaches being taken at Melfort Park (Clydebank).
Garnock Connections is a landscape partnership which aims to enhance and promote the natural and cultural heritage around the River Garnock. One of the partnership’s key projects is Garnock’s Buzzing, which is committed to increasing the diversity, abundance and connectivity of pollen/nectar sources and nesting habitat across the Garnock Connections area. In addition to increasing and improving habitats, this project will engage the citizens of the local communities through a range of knowledge-exchange and training activities aimed at increasing awareness of the vital role these insects play (M)

RSPB

North Ayrshire Council

Buglife

SWT

SRUC
In addition to 2019’s 5 hectares of meadows with 2 meadows created in parks in Kilbirnie, three new wildflower meadows were created at Irvine Beach Park. Moreover, wildlife interpretation panels were created for the Ayrshire Coastal Path, several of which highlight the various pollinators found along the coast as well as showcasing the different habitats and their importance.
Inner Forth Habitat Network. Covering CSGN areas in Stirling, Clackmannanshire, Falkirk and Fife.  (S) Inner Forth Futures Collaborative working through the Inner Forth Natural Heritage Working Group to finalise a call-to-action that aims to identify opportunities and encourage delivery of the mapped Inner Forth Habitat Network through habitat management, enhancement, restoration and creation across a suite of five key habitats (river and wetland; peatland and heathland; grassland and open mosaic habitat; intertidal; woodland) plus urban areas. The Habitat Network is an example of a regional contribution to Scotland’s Nature Network.
Inner Forth Wetland Network. Capital work at five wetland sites identified within the Inner Forth Habitat Network. (Stirling, Clackmannanshire, Falkirk and Fife)  (S) Inner Forth Futures Work funded through NatureScot Biodiversity Challenge Fund to deliver an aspect of the Inner Forth Wetland Network. Wetlands at 5 sites around the Forth will be improved with new habitats created, degraded habitats improved.
Bridgeness Biodiversity is a project in the Inner Forth area in Bo’ness that will manage a brownfield site and wildflower area for wildlife and people. (S)

Buglife Scotland

Inner Forth Landscape Initiative

Falkirk Council
Work complete September 2019. Brownfield habitat at Bridgeness and meadow at nearby Grangepans continue to be managed and provide vital pollinator forage. The extensive meadows at nearby Kinneil Foreshore Local Nature Reserve continue to be managed annually.
The Love Your Network Fund will support active communities in accessing funds to allow for local improvements to the National Cycling Network. (M) Sustrans This project picks up on the Greener Greenways work. There will also be increasing focus on Biodiversity Net Gain through Sustrans-led new route developments. In West Lothian the Countryside Service of the Council will work with volunteers to maintain the wildflower meadows strips.
Native wildflower planting between Anniesland and Kelvindale railway stations. Recognition that railway routes can act as wildlife corridors and help pollinators.(S) Network Rail Over 7000m² was planted, including oxeye daisies, poppies, bird’s-foot trefoil and white campion.
Habitat creation through wildflower meadows and strips combined with supporting pollinator trails. Battleby meadow demonstrates value of a sympathetic planting and mowing regime to encourage pollinators, while the trail raises awareness of retaining areas suitable for hibernation, nest building and shelter. (S) Angus Council Flood protection measures incorporated wildflower meadows, pollinator-friendly trees and shrubs. Follow up action was sowing of native wildflowers along Skinners Burn
Habitat creation and connectivity in Greener Greenways context on Alloa–Dollar and Alloa–Tillicoultry routes. Regeneration of contaminated land at Fishcross into wildflower area. (M) Clackmannanshire Council Creation of improved habitat for native wild bees completed with hedgerow and wildflower strips.
Fife’s Buzzing. Between June 2014 and June 2017, 20 sites across Fife were transformed into pollinator-friendly habitats. (S)

Buglife

Fife Council

Fife Council is now managing these areas. These will benefit from a land management strategy that will include wildflower planting and relaxed mowing regimes, and Fife Council are formulating a plan to manage increased greenspace areas for biodiversity.
Establishment of wildflower grasslands in the grounds of two Council offices. This promotes the restoration and creation of natural flower-rich habitats in an urban area which, in turn, supports a national ecological network and raises awareness of pollinators and their role. (S) Aberdeenshire Council This action was delivered with the focus moving to management of these spaces. However, reductions in grounds maintenance during Covid-19 restrictions have highlighted opportunities to expand these areas and this is currently being explored.   
Glasgow City Council has published its own Pollinator Plan, which aims to ensure that the city has a robust, healthy and diverse population of pollinating insects. Hogganfield Park Local Nature Reserve is now a key pollinator demonstration site for a range of wildflower meadows, orchards, and bee banks, showing the breadth of management of Glasgow’s parks and green spaces. (M) Glasgow City Council The Pollinator Plan actions are included in the Biodiversity Annual Monitoring Report and will be included in future Biodiversity Duty Reports.
Scottish Wildlife Trust leads on the Irvine to Girvan Nectar Network (IGNN), which builds connected habitat networks for wild pollinators and increases the resilience of local pollinator populations. Likewise, Stevenson, Saltcoats and Ardrossan will be linked with an active travel route that includes wildflower meadows and tree planting. IGNN has projects running across golf courses, wildlife reserves, parks and cycle routes. (M)

SWT

NatureScot,

North Ayrshire Council

South Ayrshire Council

Dundonald Links

Royal Troon Golf Club and TCV

Work continues to create a habitat network for pollinating insects in an ecological corridor between towns in Ayrshire. In South Ayrshire, along the coastal path from Dunure to Fisherton, yellow rattle and seed mix was introduced to 3 locations along field edges, creating a further 1.5ha area for pollinators.
Piloting the use of red clover on path edges and verges to reduce maintenance and provide pollinator forage.  (S) Falkirk Council Seeded areas completed as part of pilot project. Creation of pollinator-friendly planters and beds in Falkirk Town Centre. Trial area sown 2019. A report proposing changes to Falkirk Council’s grass and verge cutting regimes is under consideration (pilot could use 34 sites).
Greenhall (Blantyre) amenity grasslands transformed for biodiversity-friendly space. A former golf course at Blairbeth, Fernhill, was taken into council ownership and included wildflower habitats. Creation of new orchard/wildflower area at Millheugh, High Blantyre (S) South Lanarkshire Council Amenity planting of appropriate wildflower mix, along with reduction in mowing frequency and conversion of former golf course into community green space. The latter being widely reported in the national press.
Reducing roadside verge management and improving pollinator provision. Distributing wildflower seed packs to local schools. Upgrading pollinator-friendly approaches in Hermitage Park in Helensburgh. (L) Argyll and Bute Council The Council’s cutting regime remains sympathetic to pollinator needs. Working with Islay Wildlife Trust continues to enable the Council to extend the reach of preferred roadside verge management practices. The council contributed to the Buglife B-Lines project in the Argyll area, and have plans to extend this to more of the islands in the area.
Helix Park site improvements to attract and provide for pollinators. Roundabout improvements will include planting nectar-rich flowers. (L)

Falkirk Council and Falkirk Community Trust

Meadow patches and bulb planting on towpath and canal extension path, creating food sources for pollinators. The meadow in the wider Helix Park continues to be managed and provides a significant area of pollinator habitat.
‘On the Verge’ is a project identifying potentially pollinator-friendly roadside verges in the Stirling area and planting them with native wildflowers to demonstrate the value of transport corridors. This in turn raises awareness of the value of sympathetic management of public amenity grassland (M) On the Verge community group Work has featured in the national press and is widely viewed as an outstanding example where working with councils and others can deliver pollinator-friendly outcomes.
Magnificent Meadows manages 9 meadow sites to benefit pollinators in Fife, Falkirk, West Lothian, South Lanarkshire and Edinburgh. This uses SWT’s ‘flying flock’ of sheep and herd of rare breed Shetland cattle. (L)

Plantlife

SWT

A long-term commitment which will extend beyond the magnificent meadows and cover other wildlife reserves in Perthshire and Ayrshire.

Cumbernauld Living Landscapes, Seven Lochs and North Lanarkshire Council aim to transform the way amenity grassland is managed in parts of Cumbernauld. (M)

SWT

CLL

NLC

Seven Lochs

The project uses underutilised land to enhance areas for priority species and to add diversity to flowering plant communities in the area.  Creation/management spread across 6 sites, working with volunteers and staff.   Project will form links to the John Muir Pollinator way.
Publication of road verge guidelines on management and creation of pollinator-friendly road verges. Plantlife Publication was well received nationally and further enhances the argument that roadside verges managed for wildlife are a biodiversity boost.
West Lothian B-Lines. An HLF project spanning two years, to complete May 2021 with areas converted to pollinator-friendly hotspots with local community assistance. This fits with the wider national B-Lines initiative. (S)

West Lothian Council,

Buglife

Work started in June 2019. 2020 saw addition of another 7 meadows over 4 urban parks, bringing 2-year total to 14 meadows created.
Stirling Council amended grassland management (L) Stirling Council The Council is committed to reducing the area of intensively managed grass and following a reduced management regime. Moreover, a Pollinator Strategy for Stirling is under development.
Breaking Grounds project is creating flower meadow habitats, whilst improved open space management is embedding relaxed mowing regimes and includes sympathetic seeding of areas that benefit pollinators. (S) North Ayrshire Council Mental health project that included creating nectar-rich flower beds for bees and butterflies.
Modification of management of public greenspaces (L) Aberdeenshire Council A LEADER-funded greenspace project running from June 2019 to October 2020 will explore the modification of the management of public greenspaces. Looking at lower intensity options that benefit biodiversity (including pollinators), mitigate against climate change and reduces costs. Moving from regularly-cut grass to wildflower and woodland options, with a strong focus on public/community involvement in these spaces. Planned project activity was reduced in 2020, however final outputs/lessons learned are being prepared with the aim of embedding the approach, where appropriate, in routine greenspace management practice.
Lockdown seed planting project JHI This project saw JHI send wildflower seeds to all staff and students during lockdown. A follow-up survey suggested around 75% of staff/students sowed their seeds or gifted them which resulted in c.450m2 of wildflowers in gardens from Caithness to Perthshire.

Meadow creation at a new development site - Thurso South substation, managed by Scottish and Southern Energy Networks (SSEN). (L)

Bumblebee Conservation Trust

Consultants WSP

SSEN

SSEN took on board advice from the BBCT Conservation Officer in 2017 and sowed a tailored pollinator wildflower seed mix on 10ha of earth bunds created around their new substation site near Thurso, Caithness. In 2018 and 2019 the Conservation Officer did surveys for bumblebees and wildflower establishment, and in 2020 a Great Yellow Bumblebee was recorded for the first time on the site.
Central Scotland B-Lines. Using NatureScot Biodiversity Challenge Funds with CSGNT to create habitat for pollinators along John Muir Way in East Dunbartonshire, Falkirk and Edinburgh (M)

Buglife

CSGNT

Edinburgh Council

South Lanarkshire Council

Falkirk Council

East Dunbartonshire Council

Changing the management at various sites will create “stepping stones” of flower rich habitat within the identified B-line corridors. Activities include: Bulbs planted, Plug plants added, Wildflower seed sown, Hedgerow gaps filled, Fruit trees planted, Yellow rattle sown, Flowering shrubs planted. Cut and lift system now being followed on meadows
Montrose Space for Nature project. Changing grass cutting regime and herbicide application on open sites in Montrose. (M) Angus Council A 2km stretch of cycle path now down from 16 to 2 cuts per year, aim of reducing nutrients to allow wildflowers (and thus pollinators) to thrive. This approach to be extended to Arbroath in 2021.
Planting regime at Dunbar Station specifically included plant species to help butterflies and other pollinators. The planting helped support a planning application to the local authority for the development and will be used as a case study to form a pollinator part of the Scotland biodiversity strategy. Network Rail Local knowledge of a butterfly species helped inform the environmental strategy for the new platform enhancement at Dunbar Station. The Capital Delivery Environment Manager worked closely with the Butterfly Conservation Trust and Senior Lineside Engineer to identify a planting regime to help the recovery of the Northern Brown Argus and the Small Blue butterflies species.
Common poppies, corn marigolds, corn flower and corn cockle

Objective 2: Understanding pollinators and their pollination services

What we need to do

  • Improve our knowledge of plant–pollinator interactions, including the relationship between wild pollinators and habitat size, quality, type and connectedness to other areas of habitat, and
  • Better understand, through spatial mapping, the resources available to pollinators on a landscape scale.
Project Organisation Update
Encouraging Scottish growers to complete an IPM plan and encouraging local authorities to apply the principles of IPM to ground maintenance and management. Supporting and promoting IPM, and targeted use of pesticides, in agricultural and urban areas. Supporting and complying with approved Europe-wide advice. (M)

SG

SQC

There is now a new and refreshed agricultural IPM assessment plan for use by Scottish businesses. The new plan improves on the previous version by allowing the industry’s progress in adopting IPM to be measured. The new plan uses a metric for measuring IPM adoption, derived with stakeholder input that assigns weightings to the different pest management options and scores farms on a 0-100 scale for IPM adoption. The revised plan allows the increasing uptake of IPM by the sector to be demonstrated to the industry’s customers and to Government and its agencies.  The IPM Plan is now hosted on the Plant Health Centre website.  

The Scottish Government supports the restriction on three neonicotinoids (clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam) in response to the evidence of their effect on the environment, particularly on bees.  These restrictions go beyond the partial ban that has been in place since 2013 and, from December 2018, use is limited to permanent greenhouses where exposure to bees and other pollinators is not expected.

Scottish Quality Crops (SQC) have introduced a requirement for growers to complete an IPM plan in order to meet the SQC assurance scheme standards.

At the joint Scottish Government and Amenity Forum event in February 2020 the then Minister for Rural Affairs and the Environment launched the new Amenity Standard, developed by the Amenity Forum in partnership with stakeholders.  The Amenity Standard is a quality management standard designed to provide reassurance that those involved in maintaining amenity areas operate at the highest professional standards and that such operations are undertaken safely by trained personnel.

Butterfly Conservation identification classes and their Urban Butterfly Project provide entry-level knowledge of plant–pollinator interactions and contribute to monitoring goals. (S) Butterfly Conservation

Butterfly Conservation ran an online course in butterfly ID and recording throughout 2020, with lives classes and online resources helping new volunteers to get involved. Over 150 people took part from all over Scotland, with some going on to send in hundreds of records and discover new sites for our less common butterflies.

Using urban greenspace management practices to improve biodiversity. (M) University of Edinburgh Urban Pollinators seed mix to be planted on 4ha in the Little France development in SE Edinburgh. This will be one of the biggest urban wildflower meadows in the UK. Work is in collaboration with the Edinburgh City Council greenspace team. A consortium led by the RBGE was awarded a grant from the Biodiversity Challenges fund to undertake several interventions along the south coast of the Firth of Forth. Included is planting of 8x 500m2 wildflower meadows in a linear array along the shore, using a seed mix specially developed to deliver maximum nectar and pollen benefit to a range of pollinating insects. Site preparation was planned for early in 2020, with planting in March. The funding lasts for a year, but the meadows will stay in place for at least 5 years.

Saving the Great Yellow Bumblebee is a two-year project which started in 2019 which aims to engage with the general public and landowners and increase surveying efforts to inform future conservation of this species. (L)

BBCT

Continuing from previous work, BBCT provide tailored advice to farms/landholdings to support beneficial management for Great Yellow Bumblebee. Advice and follow-up support is provided to farmers, landowners and agents in high priority Great Yellow areas and, where appropriate, advice on management options funded by SRDP-AECS, voluntary measures and/or written letters of endorsement are provided. In 2019, BBCT employed a consultant to do forage and bee surveys along the north coast of Sutherland in June-early September. The survey report highlights suitable areas to target more intensive surveys for Great Yellow bumblebees in the area, records the quality of forage across the landscape and suggests where a change in management might help encourage better habitats for this rare bumblebee.

Identifying optimum plants and habitat area size for wild pollinators in different management situations. (M) SRUC

Research projects exploring optimum farm management and landscape-scale measures to protect and promote pollinators.

  • Pollinator-friendly management actions being evaluated at AHDB Prestonhall Monitor Farm and Soil Association Pollinator Demonstration Farm.
  • Nitrogen-Fixing crops trials are now finished and indicate targeted species mixtures can provide resources for a wider suite of pollinator species and increase the longevity of flowering period. A research manuscript is being drafted.
  • Impacts of upland grazing and rewilding on insect pollinators continue to be evaluated at Kirkton and Auchtertyre Farms.
  • Research manuscript in preparation derived from the PhD studentship exploring the impact of insect pollination on oilseed rape explores varietal differences in resources offered by oilseed rape.
  • A Natural Environment Research Council-funded PhD studentship on using unmanned aerial vehicles to monitor pollinator assemblages has commenced in conjunction with University of Edinburgh
    • Europe-wide expert evaluation of Ecological Focus Areas led by SRUC is now completed and published in Journal of Applied Ecology. Policy implications of this research are outlined in a policy briefing being translated into several languages.
Evaluating methods of management that benefit pollination in field margins and diverse habitat areas at farming and landscape-scale sites. (L) JHI Seeking to confirm links between pest control and nearby pollinator-friendly habitats.
Training courses to develop identification skills regarding various pollinator groups. This will raise awareness of habitat size and connectivity of sites as well as of species. (S)

Local authorities

Buglife
This work is ongoing. In 2020 Buglife used funding by NatureScot to run 8 pollinator-focused training workshops. Communities have been engaged with through the Scotland’s Buzzing, West Lothian B-Lines, Central Scotland’s B-Lines and Garnock’s buzzing projects.  
FAS and SRUC are committed to promoting IPM plans and delivering knowledge exchange activities on IPM and beneficial insects to key stakeholders. (L)

SFAS

SRUC

Information video on IPM is available online via the Farm Advisory Service’s Crop and Soils and Environmental Portals (September 2018).

Beneficial insects and IPM sections added to Farm Advisory Service’s Environmental Portal with IPM links on the Crop and Soils Portal to increase outreach (March 2019).

A new technical note on beneficial insects is now available as of October 2020.

Online resources (i.e. videos, podcasts, technical notes, virtual farm tour) on beneficial insects are currently in preparation as of October 2020.

New content is being developed for the FAS webpages around beekeeping with signposting to other resources (completion December 2020)

Crop health updates are regularly issued to highlight seasonal crop health issues. These typically provide an IPM approach to control.

SRUC will monitor a variety of agronomic and environmental outcomes at Balbirnie Home Farms the AHDB’s new Strategic Farm Scotland. Monitoring will include both pest and beneficial insects with baseline data due for collection in 2020.
PhD to study how to best manage urban greenspaces to best benefit plants, pollinators and people. (M)

University of Edinburgh,

NERC

SWT
University of Edinburgh leads on this work, funded by Scottish Wildlife Trust. Student to be recruited in 2020 studentship round.

 

Pollinator Strategy - A bumblebee feeding on a garden sedum. Wolfhill, September 2013. ©Lorne Gill

Objective 3: Manage commercial use of pollinators to benefit native pollinators

What we need to do

  • Ensure the process of screening commercial honey bees, and imported/managed bumblebees, for pests and diseases continues to safeguard our wild pollinators,
  • Review biosecurity measures for imported bees, particularly bumblebees, aiming to support healthy populations of pollinators in the wild,
  • Ensure that practical advice is available to reduce the potential for pest and pathogen transfer, and disease impacts on wild pollinators,
  • Reduce the reliance on imported bees for commercial pollination, and
  • Encourage and support ways to increase the use of naturally-occurring pollinators.

Project

Organisation

Update

Supporting and sustaining a healthy honey bee population and beekeeping industry in Scotland through continuing to implement the measures set out until 2020 in the Honey Bee Health Strategy for Scotland (HBHS). (S)

SG

SASA

SRUC

Bee Farmers’ Association

SBA

1. Education, Training and Knowledge Transfer: good standards of beekeeping and husbandry will minimise pest and disease risks and contribute to sustaining healthy honey bee populations.

2. Communication: effective communication and relationships operating at all levels.

3. Surveillance, Diagnosis and Biosecurity: positive surveillance based on vigilance, reporting and diagnosis.

4. Research and Development: sound science and evidence underpinning bee health policy, disease prevention and control, and good husbandry.

Minutes of meetings and relevant documents continue to be posted on SG website.

The SG is currently reviewing the impact of the last 10 years of honey bee health strategy on bee health in Scotland. A new 10 year strategy will be implemented in 2021 with an emphasis on greater cooperation with the Pollinator Strategy in order to emphasise the positive contribution of honey bees to the environment and wild pollinators, at the same time identifying and minimising any possible negative impacts from poor beekeeping practices.

Publishing an informative position statement on the interplay between wild bumblebees and managed honeybees. (M)

BBCT

Bumblebee Conservation Trust have published a position statement on the interactions between managed honey bee colonies and wild bumblebees with recommendations for minimising conflict.

Imported bees

Identifying actions required to minimise the risks of managed bees (imported and locally produced) to native pollinator species.

Reviewing the pathways by which commercially produced pollinators enter Scotland to determine the current scale and biosecurity risks.

Develop a suite of tests and a standardised process to assess bumblebee health; ensure best practice guidance is available for pollinator box users.

 

Bee Health Inspectorate

 

The Scottish Bee Health Inspectorate has strong certification procedures to ensure disease and pest freedom of imported bees into Scotland. Furthermore, these certification procedures are bolstered with a risk-based approach to post import checks. The bee inspectorate inspect a larger proportion of imported packages and colonies of bees than required on legislation.  

HBHS supports beekeeper education and local breeding to reduce requirement for imported honey bees and potential impact of disease. Aims of HBHS and work of SG Bee Health team all contribute towards reducing honey bee losses through improved disease control, thus reducing the requirements for imports and generally raising the health status of managed (honey) bees and their wild neighbours.

SG is working on the possible impact of EU negotiations on the import of bees and bumblebees into Scotland.

 

Hawthorn hedge, red campion and ox-eye daisies growing on a roadside verge at Ballathie Estate near Stanley.

Hawthorn hedge, red campion and ox-eye daisies growing on a roadside verge

Objective 4: Raise awareness and encourage action

What we need to do

  • Ensure that the value and vulnerability of plants and their pollinators is widely recognised,
  • Increase awareness within key sectors and among the public of opportunities to help pollinators and their habitats,
  • Support and raise awareness of schemes and organisations that encourage people to identify and record pollinating species,
  • Support initiatives by local and national environmental groups that increase the diversification and connectivity of flower-rich habitats in the countryside and urban areas,
  • Encourage and support land managers to restore or create native flower-rich habitats to enhance pollinator, and abundance and diversity. Work together to carry out management at a landscape scale, including urban green space and urban fringe areas.

Project

Organisation

Update

Glasgow City Council’s Flower Power project ensures that plants used across the Council’s parks and gardens are, wherever possible, locally grown and encourage community involvement. Managing parks and gardens in a manner that is sympathetic to the needs of pollinators in terms of both food requirements and habitat creation. (M)

Glasgow City Council

Flower Power nursery at Pollok CP maintained with volunteer support.  The Countryside Rangers ran fortnightly volunteer sessions at the wildflower nursery on Tuesdays and Saturdays engaging a total of 191 individual volunteers on these drop-in days in 2019/20 donating 288 hours in volunteer time towards raising 1,120 wildflower plugs and plants across 27 species

Downloadable guides on the Garden for Life Forum offering tips and encouragement for wildlife-friendly gardening (S)

KSB

Includes the section ‘Bedding plants for pollinators

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh highlights the presence and role of pollinators. The Garden’s internationally recognised botanical expertise ensures that the value of pollinators is routinely highlighted. (S)

RBGE

The pictorial meadow at RBGE encourages visitors to think about meadow landscapes and encourage similar in their own communities. Volunteer phenology-recording project documents annual changes on the RBGE estate and highlights pollinator-impacting shifts in flowering times due to climate change.

Providing regular updates, news and features on pollinator-related activity through the Scotland’s Pollinator blog and the associated twitter feed  (S)

NatureScot

Publishing blogs, social media posts and website updates. Sharing and cross-promoting these materials. Investigating options to ‘place’ pollinator stories in the press. We have 950 twitter followers and our blogs jumped from 4,500 views in 2019 to 8,700 views in 2020.

Continuing to develop guidance, tailored to a range of audiences (farmers, councils, schools, gardeners), on practical action to help pollinators. This increases awareness of the value of assisting and recording pollinator species. (S)

BBCT

Buglife

Butterfly Conservation

A wide range of guidance now published on these key environmental websites. East Scotland BC have established a new “People and Pollinators” grant scheme which provides up to £200 to schools/community groups to create a pollinator-friendly area in their grounds. Successful groups will also be matched with a mentor.

Working with partners, including policy makers and those with practical skills in the management of habitats, to raise public awareness and understanding of the needs and status of pollinator populations. Video guidance and information for farmers. (S)

SFAS

AHDB

SRUC

Soil Association

Three SFAS practical guides produced and available online via the Farm Advisory Service’s Environmental Portal:

Two videos produced and available online via the Farm Advisory Services Environmental and Crop and Soils portals:

Insect Pollinators and Pollination section added to the Scotland’s Farm Advisory Service’s Environmental Portal. Information includes how to promote wild pollinators, how to monitor pollinators (including links to PoMS) and information on managed pollinators (March 2019).

 

80% of crops grown in Scotland rely on insect pollination. Acting as a partner in delivering the Agri Environment Climate Scheme, under the SRDP, NatureScot has helped deliver £178million to 2,509 businesses. Included are many actions, particularly in the arable sector, specifically targeted to pollinator needs as well as for the management of semi-natural grasslands. (L)

NatureScot

Agri-environment funding for pollinators is being accessed via this scheme.

NatureScot is working with Scottish Government to develop revised policy for the CAP/Brexit transition period 2021 – 2024. (M)

NatureScot

Focus on maintaining stability of the current farming support scheme architecture, simplifying it where possible, whilst amending it to help address both the climate change emergency (see 2019 IPCC report) and biodiversity loss (see 2019 IPBES report).   Our work on future, post-2024, rural policy and how a more transformational change in land use can be brought about to deliver on the above policy drivers as well as build a resilient and diverse rural economy are central elements of our work.  Piloting an outcome-based approach to agriculture support in Scotland (POBAS).  This includes testing biodiversity outcomes on range of farm types (intensive arable included) and a different way of incentivising farmers to deliver these.

Ongoing development of BeeKind, an online educational resource to help people grow appropriate flowers for bumblebees and other pollinators. (M)

BBCT

The tool is aimed at helping everyone, from individuals to schools, businesses and local authorities, to help improve their plantings for pollinators by maximising nectar/pollen availability through the year.

Illustrating what public good looks like on Scottish Farms (pollinators are listed as a public good) to demonstrate more clearly the public benefits generated by farm support schemes. (L)

NatureScot

Monitoring the outcomes generated by the current SRDP/AECS scheme on Scottish farms. Gathering evidence from across Europe on ways in which land managers are encouraged to deliver environmental outcomes on farm land to inform future rural policy.

Weeds – promote importance of ‘weeds’ for pollinators. Ensures that a key range of plants are harnessed for their pollinator-friendly value. (S)

 

Buglife

Buglife continues to highlight the range of pollinators and the plants which support them.

There is increasingly recognition that, in some areas, roadside verges are now acting as ‘wildlife corridors’ that form an intricate habitat network. Supporting the increase in the diversification and connectivity of these flower-rich habitats is advantageous. (M)

Angus Council

Tayside Biodiversity Partnership

Management of established Angus Council projects to maintain wildflower verges and monitor management approaches. Working in partnership with local communities, environmental organisations and botanists to maintain species rich grasslands and alter rural grass cutting regime on verges.  

Pollinator Pledge & Square Metre for Butterflies – Edinburgh Living Landscape aims to increase the number of people improving their gardens, office sites and allotments for wildlife. The square metre work includes roof-top gardens. (M)

SWT

RBGE

Butterfly Conservation

Areas of Edinburgh targeted to encourage people to sign up to these projects. Green roofs have been planted on publicly-owned properties by private business and employees have contributed to monitoring work. This initiative increases pollinator habitat in the urban environment.

Raising awareness of the Asian hornet through the Asian hornet contingency plan and associated guidance on BeeBase. (M)

SG

SASA

SBA

Continued raising awareness through public engagement activities and sentinel beekeepers. This included providing an advisory talk to the British Pest Control Association annual event, Asian Hornet Week activities through public media and active monitoring by beekeepers at apiaries.

Improvement works at Engineering depots to benefit biodiversity and pollinators in particular. (S)

ScotRail

In partnership with The Conservation Volunteers  work previously carried out at Yoker, Shields Haymarket and Inverness depot is maintained. Wildflower meadows have been kept clear of grass encroachment, native fruit trees cleared around the base with edible herbs planted and planters maintained. A new project started at Bathgate Depot with native fruit trees, wildflower meadows and planters installed with vegetables and herbs.

 

Since 2014 North Lanarkshire has had a Pollinator Plan, which includes elements such as support for creation of wildflower meadows.

North Lanarkshire Council

North Lanarkshire Council’s Greenspace Development has developed a number of wildflower meadows in public spaces such as parks, museum grounds, Local Nature Reserves and school grounds. This Pollinator Plan is due to updated shortly

 

A male Red mason-bee (Osmia bicornis). Battleby. ©Lorne Gill/NatureScot

Objective 5: Evidence – monitor and evaluate whether Scotland’s pollinators are thriving

What we need to do

  • Gather and analyse data to better understand pollinator population trends, habitat availability and connectivity to ensure that the correct actions are being taken for pollinators and habitats,
  • Support monitoring and recording schemes for key species, notably bees, hoverflies, moths, butterflies and wild plants, and
  • Encourage citizen science and other volunteer projects that add value to existing monitoring initiatives to help deliver the National Pollinator Monitoring Scheme.

Project

Organisation

Update

Completing regular LBAP monitoring reports and obligatory Biodiversity Duty reports. These increasingly highlight specific pollinator-friendly actions. (L)

Local authorities

These regular and detailed reports will be of considerable help in building a clearer picture of the state of our pollinators. Attendance by the Pollinator Strategy Manager at LBAP meetings further enhances connections and sharing of good practice.

 

BeeWalk is a standardised citizen scientist monitoring scheme that collects bumblebee data from across the UK to gain an accurate understanding of current bumblebee populations and distributions. (L)

BBCT

The 2020 BeeWalk Annual Report covering 2008-2019 was published in May 2020. This is the most comprehensive data we have on bumblebee abundance throughout the UK.

The BBCT expect to have fewer BeeWalk records in 2020 because of the Covid pandemic, due to cancelled events and training days combined with lockdown restrictions on existing BeeWalkers. Guidance was maintained on the website to help existing BeeWalkers decide if it was safe to maintain their transect. Up to 2019, BeeWalk continued to grow, with a record number of transects submitting records in 2019.

Using objectives outlined in the Pollinator Implementation Plan to monitor achievements and direct future efforts. (L)

NatureScot

An Annual Progress Report ensures current information and projects are highlighted to help to inform future Implementation Plan actions.

Pollinator Demonstration Farm (Lochend of Barra in Aberdeenshire) provides a platform to explore and demonstrate means of enhancing pollinator provision in intensive arable farming systems. (L)

Soil Association

SRUC

Three-year demonstration site to assess plant mix and habitat size implications for pollinators.

Farm demonstration event in July 2018.

Pollinator-friendly management was instigated in 2018 and surveying to evaluate the impact on pollinators and beneficial insects was conducted in 2019. Results are being processed.

Large-scale farm experiment testing methods for sustainable intensification of arable and grassland farming. (L)

UKCEH

The ASSIST programme runs until 2022 with experimental sites across England testing impacts of a) flower margins and in-field strips on pollinators, pollination and natural pest control in arable crops and b) sustainable grazing and pasture enhancement on grassland farms. The results will be shared across the UK. ASSIST is also producing novel tools for farm and landscape-planning.

A. Mapping crop coverage and associated use of pesticides in arable farming. B. Pollinator behaviour in cherry fruit production (L)

JHI

University of Dundee

A  Creation of maps to facilitate analysis of trends and impacts on pollinators.                       B  Time lapse camera use to monitor flowers was unable in 2020 to confirm how pollinator behaviour affects cherry production.

Supporting the National Pollinator Monitoring Scheme in Scotland. (L)

UKCEH

NatureScot

SG

Support of PoMS work through promotion of FIT counts, financial support towards the 1km square surveys, and modelling of distribution trends for Scotland is in place for a further two years from 2019.

Developing a Scottish monitoring programme through bioblitz surveys. (L)

JHI

Using the JHI estate and surrounding farms to assess pollinator species and their numbers.

 

Current Pollinator Research Projects

The Pollinator Strategy for Scotland identifies research priorities, which fall into five main areas:

  1. Pollinators' habitats, biology and ecology.
  2. Taxonomy.
  3. Pesticides,
  4. Climate change and
  5. Pests and diseases

What follows is a summary of some of the ongoing, or recently completed research, relevant to Scotland.

  • The use of unmanned aerial vehicles to monitor pollinator assemblages. This multidisciplinary project will explore the utilisation of high resolution images captured by drones to predict pollinator assemblages on the ground. (Edinburgh University, SRUC) NERC- funded PhD project, 2020-2024.
     
  • Long-term potential and cost-effectiveness of grassland and sward diversification to improve foraging resources for pollinators. (James Hutton Institute) 2018-2021.
     
  • The Bees' needs. Using molecular analysis of bee collected pollen to understand which plants play an important role in honey bee forage. Honey bees are abundant generalist foragers, and uniquely managed by man. They can therefore be useful indicators of forage availability for the wider pollinator population. The output of this project has helped to inform land use and planting to benefit Scottish pollinators, particularly during early/late season forage gaps. (SASA, Strathclyde University, SBA, Coloss)
     
  • Characterisation of the British honey bee metagenome. This project aimed to delve into the genetics and microbiome of British honey bees, identifying some key ‘friends and foes’ responsible for bee health, and building on previous work to assess the importance of ‘native, hardy’ honey bee stocks; thus highlighting the importance of sustainable local honey bee populations. (Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh, Fera Science Ltd, Newcastle University, SASA, Agroscope Switzerland, University of Agricultural Sciences Uppsala Sweden)
     
  • High sample genotyping for estimating C-lineage introgression in the dark honeybee. This highly collaborative project looked at the genetic diversity across European honey bee populations. This paper highlighted the prevalence of native black bee genetics in northern and western populations despite continual importation of bees, indicating that these genes may play an important role in resilience in harsher climatic regions.  (CIMO Portugal, CBMA Portugal, National University of Ireland Galway, Roslin Institute, Agroscope Switzerland, Aarhus University Denmark, Universidad de Murcia Spain, CNRS France, Universite de Versailles France, SASA, Texas A&M University USA)
     
  • Development of a rapid screening tool to identify bumblebee pathogens. This aim of this student placement project was to build capability at SASA to monitor for pathogens affecting bumblebees, and to assess potential infestations which could affect both managed and wild bee populations. (University of St Andrews, SASA)
     
  • Competition in bees: Honey bee (Apis mellifera) introduction alters heather pollen composition foraged by wild bees (Bombus terrestris) on heather moorland. This undergraduate project aimed to assess the foraging behaviour of wild bees when honey bees were introduced into a heather site. (University of Edinburgh, SASA)
     
  • The potential of nitrogen-fixing crops to provide resources for insect pollinators. (SRUC, JHI) Alternative approaches to sustainable land management. 2016-2022
     
  • Alternative approaches to sustainable land management. The impact of agri-environmental interventions on beneficial insects and ecosystem service at the farm scale. (SRUC) 2018-2022
     
  • The impact of road verge management on insect pollinators. This research is part of the Garnock’s Buzzing project 2019-2021 (SRUC, NAC, RSPB) Heritage Lottery-funded Garnock Connections Landscape Partnership.
     
  • The impact of upland grazing management on floristic composition, pollinator assemblages and the robustness of plant-pollinator interaction networks. Alternative approaches to sustainable land management (SRUC) 2016-2022.
     
  • The impact of oilseed rape varieties (conventional and hybrid) on resource availability and pollination resilience. (SRUC, University of Edinburgh studentship) 2016-2020.
     
  • Moth distribution study suggesting that summer warming is an important factor driving northward range expansions and corresponding increases in occupancy, whilst this is being countered for some species by negative impacts from land management practices and habitat changes, together with warmer and wetter winters, leading to population declines. (Butterfly Conservation, University of Kent, Rothamsted Research; NatureScot)
     
  • Sustainable Management of Orchard Pollination Services. A team of industry and academic partners tested pollinator management strategies in apple orchards, including flower-rich margins and nesting habitats, to boost pollinator populations and improve yield and crop quality. (University of Reading, UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, National Institute of Agricultural Botany, Avalon Produce, Worldwide Fruit, Syngenta)
     
  • The PoshBee project is assessing the combined risks of pesticides, pathogens and poor nutrition on wild and managed bees to improve practices and policies. (Reading University, Royal Holloway University London, British Beekeepers Association and National Farmers Union).
     
  • The role of road verges in conservation of wild pollinators. (University of Cambridge, Bumblebee Conservation Trust)
     
  • Monitoring floral resources with remote-sensing satellites and unmanned aerial vehicles. (University of East Anglia, Hutchinsons Ltd.)
     
  • Relative importance of wild and managed pollinators in soft fruit production. (University of East Anglia, Berry World)
     
  • The GFS Resilient pollinators project. Spatial modelling to identify and value the UK’s pollinator natural capital, how this is likely to change under future scenarios and what the implications of these changes are for the resilience of pollination services to UK agriculture. (University of Reading, University of Huddersfield, University of Northampton, Global Food Security)
     
  • Effects of future agricultural change scenarios on beneficial insects. A study which concluded that restoring semi-natural grassland should result in increases in pollinator richness and functional diversity, even if agricultural practices remain intensive on cropped land. In contrast, any expansion of arable land is likely to be accompanied by widespread declines in richness of beneficial insects, even if cropping practices become less intensive. (UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology)
     
  • Pollinator monitoring more than pays for itself. The Pollinator Monitoring and Research Partnership (PMRP) looked at the costs compared with the monetary benefits of pollinator monitoring schemes with varying levels of professional and volunteer involvement. They found that the costs of running a well-designed monitoring scheme are significantly lower than the value of pollination services to the UK economy and would provide high quality scientific data for a lower cost than running separate research projects. (University of Reading, UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and the PMRP).
     
  • The structure and species-richness of plant-pollinator networks. This research has shown how the removal of flowers provided by more generalised plants can negatively affect patterns of interaction between the remaining flowers and pollinators. It provided further evidence of the importance of common plants for flower-visiting insect communities (Czech Academy of Sciences). 
     
  • UK Pollinator Monitoring Scheme. Covid restrictions have had a significant impact on the pan-trap surveys for 2020, which were initially suspended. From July this survey programme was able to resume, with a partial survey to be carried out this year across Scotland, England and Wales UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and the PMRP 2020.
     
  • The wider citizen-science pollinator Flower-Insect Timed Counts have had good take-up this year, in part because they are less hampered by travel restrictions than other work, and could be carried out by people who only had access to a garden or even a window-box. This has resulted in well over 1,600 counts submitted. (UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and the PMRP) 2020.
     
  • X-Polli:Nation Research into methods and ideas for monitoring and conserving pollinators, improving citizen science practice and researching how Artificial Intelligence technologies can be used to monitor pollinators. It encourages citizens to create, maintain and monitor pollinator-friendly habitats (University of Aberdeen, Open University, Imperial College London, Learning Through Landscape, Museo di Storia Naturale della Maremma (Italy)).
     
  • Development of a robust subclinical method for the analysis of European foulbrood in honey bee colonies. The aim of this project is to provide additional tools to support the European Foulbrood Control Strategy, identifying ‘contact colonies’ prior to symptomatic disease to reduce the pathogen load at the apiary level, improving sustainability and reducing pathogen spill-over to neighbouring honey bee colonies. (SASA)
     
  • Healthy Honey Bees – analysis of the Deformed Wing Virus population to assess rational Varroa control on a Scottish island. Project investigated whether co-ordinating varroa control across beekeeping communities may improve control of the pest, overall bee health and sustainability. (University of St Andrews, University of Aberdeen, SASA)
     
  • DNA metabarcoding to investigate the foraging preferences of honeybees and a UK- wide survey of honey to investigate landscape-level foraging. (National Botanic Garden of Wales, Bangor University) 2020.
     
  • The value of gardens for floral resources to pollinating insects. Using DNA meta-barcoding to study the foraging preferences of bumblebees, hoverflies and solitary bees (National Botanic Garden of Wales, Bangor University) 2020.
     
  • Plants for pollinators: developing and testing seed mixes for pollinators in gardens and amenity spaces. Testing annual seed mixes for their suitability to bumblebees, hoverflies and solitary bees. (National Botanic Garden of Wales, Aberystwyth University) 2020.
     
  • The Pasture for Pollinators project looks at how dairy farmers can manage their forage resources to conserve and enhance populations of pollinators, bumblebees in particular. The work is based on six organic farms in North East Wales, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire. (European Innovation Partnership Wales, Bumblebee Conservation Trust) 2018 - 2020.
Fernbrae Meadows, Green Infrastructure Site Visit

Case Studies

You can follow the progress of many of the projects contributing to the delivery of Scotland’s Pollinator Strategy in our regular blogs.

Recent case studies to feature include the following:

Tell us about your project 

Do you have a pollinator-friendly project which hasn’t been mentioned in our Progress Report?

If so we would love to hear from you and acknowledge your work.

Please contact [email protected].