Solutions for Farmers & Food for Bees
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Pollination of greenhouse crops requires the use of commercial bumblebee hives (Bombus sp.), often carrying diseases, which will be transmitted to wild bees, several species of which are already threatened.
In addition, these commercial bumblebees, often limited in the food diversity available in the greenhouse, can develop behavioral disorders, reducing pollination efficiency.
Pollinator friendly plants and plant associations adapted to commercial productions
Are you a farmer or a beekeeper in Quebec or Ontario? Take our survey and share your opinions on pollinator friendly plants and plant associations.
The new survey, available here, will be accessible until November 2023.
Your answers will guide us in our scientific research, in order to propose developments favorable to relevant pollinators in the context of commercial production.
Multidisciplinary science for sustainable development: reconciling agriculture and the preservation of native pollinators in Canada
In addition to this, you need to know more about it.
Promote the health and nutrition of native pollinators
Promote the health and sustainability of agricultural production
Consideration of the economic and social reality of farmers
The establishment of sustainable agriculture requires integrating the interests of all stakeholders. This entails considering the needs and obstacles faced by producers when initiating research projects. We conduct surveys and interviews with farmers in Ontario and Quebec to assess their main interests and limitations in implementing bumblebee-friendly management practices. These surveys will also allow us to integrate their suggestions and recommendations to identify plants and associations of high agro-economic value to include in our experiments on the health and performance of bumblebees.
Nutritional complementarity of cultivated and native plants for bumblebees
Monocultures restrict pollinators to a monotonous, often deficient diet, increasing the risk of disease and reducing pollination and reproductive performance. We seek to identify the best combinations of plants (cultivated or cultivated-indigenous) providing a nutritious pollen resource adapted to bumblebees over an annual cycle, in order to target the combinations to be favored in agricultural environments to fight against malnutrition and decline of colonies.
Image: a sunflower in a cornfield. Sunflowers have interesting nutritional and medicinal values for pollinators. We are now looking to identify other plants with similar properties and adapted to our climate in Canada.
Improving the health of bumblebees in greenhouses to preserve wild pollinators
Commercial bumblebees are used on a large scale for the pollination of greenhouse crops. However, they often have a low resistance to diseases, and may thus pose an additional threat to wild bees, by increasing the transmission of parasites. We want to test to what extent the establishment of sunflower strips, whose pollen possesses medicinal values, operates as a simple and effective solution to reduce the parasitic load of commercial bumblebees in greenhouses before they enter in contact with wild bumblebees and other native bees.
Who are we ?
We are a group of conservation researchers and practitioners in Quebec, Ontario and Massachussets, working closely with producers, agronomists, entrepreneurs and policy makers. We seek to identify solutions for a sustainable agriculture that combine the socio-economic reality of farmers with the ecological and nutritional needs of native pollinators.