We rely on honey bees and wild pollinators to pollinate the crops that keep us healthy, but around the world pollinator populations are declining.
The interacting factors of habitat loss, agricultural intensification, pests, disease and climate change contribute to these declines. Understanding the reasons for these pollinator losses and providing conservation guidance requires detailed information on the habitat requirements and foraging preferences of pollinating insects.
The National Botanic Garden of Wales is a member of the Pollinator Taskforce created as part of the Welsh Government Action Plan for Pollinators.
We use our DNA barcoding expertise and extensive horticultural resource to research the floral preferences of both honey bees and wild pollinators.
By using DNA barcoding to identify pollen from the bodies of pollinators, we are investigating; where our honey bees are foraging, which plants hoverflies are visiting, and more about the ecology of our wild bees. If we can find out what plants are most important for pollinators then we can help to ensure that these plants are available in the pollinators’ environment.