AGP - Case studies on pollination management

Case studies on pollination management




The Risk of Pesticides to Wild Bees

Crop losses to pests are a major problem in sustaining production, and often, pesticides are used as the first line of defense against pests. However, the indiscriminate use of pesticides often impacts negatively on beneficial insects – insects that provide essential ecosystem services such as natural pest control and pollination. While pesticide risk assessment procedures for honey bees have been well elaborated as part of pesticide evaluations, existing registration procedures are based only on the European honey bee – and not generally field-tested in developing countries.

AGP, together with partners in Brazil, Kenya and the Netherlands, have developed a tool to better understand the pesticide exposure of key crop pollinators (honey bees, but also wild bees) through the development of risk profiles for cropping systems in Brazil, Kenya and the Netherlands.

In this publication, generic profiles are proposed, providing a structured assessment of the potential risks from pesticides to bees in a given crop situation while making explicit and data knowledge gaps.


Protocol to detect and assess pollination deficits in crops: a handbook for its use

This document presents a handbook for the application of the protocol, outlining the underlying concepts, the hypothesis to be tested, and the modification and application of the protocol to a variety of circumstances in developing countries, such as small fields, home gardens, and high environmental variability. As the protocol is applied, FAOand its partners will be able to provide information on the results of detecting and assessing levels of pollination deficit in crops important for nutrition and food security around the world.

Guidelines for the economic valuation of pollination services at a national scale

Pollinators are an element of crop associated biodiversity, and provide an essential ecosystem service to both natural and agricultural ecosystems. Approximately 80 percent of all flowering plant species are specialized for pollination by animals, mostly insects. FAOh as collaborated with INRA (L’institut national de recherche agronomique of the French government) to develop a tool for assessing national vulnerabilities to pollinator declines. This document explains the use of the tool. The tool, and background documents, can be found on the website of FAO’s Global Ac­tion on Pollination Services for Sustainable Agriculture.

Rapid Assessment of Pollinators' Status

Mainstreaming pollinator conservation and sustainable use into public policy requires the efforts of a diverse set of actors, from government agencies, intergovernmental organizations and civil society. Initiatives and efforts have been initiated on several levels. However, concrete and explicit policy approaches to conserve and better manage pollination services have not been well articulated in most countries or regions. This first assessment of the status of pollinators under the International Pollinators Initiative addresses progress in different approaches to conserving and sustainably using pollination services.

Initial survey of good pollination practices

FAO has coordinated this initial survey of good practices to conserve and manage wild pollination services, in collaboration with the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology. Profiles of nine pollinator-dependent cropping systems have been compiled. The profiles provide detailed information on the impacts of specific practices on pollination services and the research or traditional systems supporting these practices, their socio-economic aspects, environmental costs, benefits and replicability. People interested in learning how to manage pollination services will find these profiles informative, as they explain practical applications of good practices in on-the-ground settings.

Beekeeping and Sustainable Livelihoods

Useful small-scale efforts to encourage beekeeping interventions can be found throughout the world, helping people to strengthen livelihoods and ensuring maintenance of habitat and biodiversity. Strengthening livelihoods means helping people to become less vulnerable to poverty, by helping them to gain greater access to a range of assets, and supporting their capacity to build these assets into successful livelihood activities. This booklet shows the useful role that beekeeping can play in creating sustainable livelihoods. FAO Diversification booklets aim to raise awareness and provide information about opportunities at the farm and local community level to increase small-scale farmer income.

Bees and their role in forest livelihoods

The role of bees in sustaining forests and forest dependent livelihoods remains poorly known and appreciated. Bees are essential for sustaining our environment because they pollinate flowering plants. The product that most people first associate with bees is honey, but this is just one of several different products that can be harvested: others are beeswax, pollen and propolis, royal jelly and venom, and medicine using bee product (apitherapy). Bees sustain our agriculture by pollinating crops and thereby increasing yields of seeds and fruits. This document is aimed at promoting more sustainable beekeeping practices which will better sustain forest dependent livelihoods in the developing world.

Crops, Browse and Pollinators in Africa: An Initial Stock-taking

An initial assessment of pollination needs and gaps in knowledge of the key pollinators of a few crops, and indigenous plants used by people or livestock, has been undertaken in 2003 in Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. This assessment included both literature reviews and field observation; and is on-going. The long-term aim of assessments is to identify the key pollinators and prioritize vulnerable pollination systems, in particular those in which explicit pollinator management practices can have the most beneficial impacts. As the African Pollinator Initiative plan of action has specified, methodologies were used that must give results that are scientifically justifiable, and comparable.