PRO PLANET Apple Project
Promotion of Wild Bees in Intensive Apple Plantations
Pollinating insects, such as honey bees, wild bees, hover flies, butterflies and beetles, have an important role in our ecosystem as they pollinate flowering plants. 80 % of our native flowering plants and 84 % of European crops are dependant on pollination through insects. Habitat degradation has increased in the past decades and is one of the main threats for pollinating insects and biodiversity as a whole.
Fruit growers are sowing flowering strips, planting hedges and installing nesting aids for wild bees and birds. Since 2010 over 100 fruit growers have been participating in the project and up until 2017 they implemented: 246 hectar flowering strips, 8800 woody plans, 550 nesting aids for wild bees, 1740 nesting aids for birds and 120 bat boxes.
In 2017 the amount and species of wild bees was monitored. It has shown that intensively used apple plantations can also be a habitat for wild bees; 117 wild bee species were counted during the monitoring.