Bees, and other pollinators, are essential for both the production of crops and the reproduction of wild plants. Global declines in pollinating insects have led to concerns over future food security. Although many studies have investigated the factors contributing to bee decline, few have focused on the implications of these factors for the pollination services bees provide. In this project we aim to investigate the impacts of both climate change and pesticide use on pollination services to crops. Dara Stanley and her team will investigate how bee behavior and pollination services are affected by weather and pesticide use using field observations and experimental manipulations. We will then use collected data to construct models to make predictions of bee activity and crop pollination under future scenarios of both climate and pesticide use, with the aim of informing sustainable agricultural production in the face of global change. Outputs from our work will have both short and longer term impacts on sustainable food production and use of our natural capital in Ireland and around Europe, the effectiveness environmental and conservation policy in the light of global change, increasing Ireland’s reputation globally, training and developing scientific talent.
Science Foundation Ireland: Climate Research in Ireland with Dr Dara Stanley