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It is recognised that bees and other insect pollinators have intrinsic cultural value, and play an essential role in the diversity and resilience of our plant and animal life, through the pollination of agricultural crops and wild plants. Defra's National Pollinator Strategy, to be launched in 2014, aims to cover all of the approximately 1500 insect species that fulfil a pollination role in England. It aims to ensure that pollinators thrive and provide essential pollination services for agriculture and the wider environment, through addressing gaps in our evidence base, while developing new actions on the basis of our improved knowledge.
It is therefore timely that IBRA is republishing Forage for Pollinators in an Agricultural Landscape, first published in 1994. Forage for Pollinators in an Agricultural Landscape's six chapters cover the changes in land use that occurred during the twentieth century and their effects on the availability of forage plants, important nectar sources for bees, and farmland as a habitat for bumble bees and for solitary bees. The remaining two chapters cover the use of forage mixtures for bees and what can be done in practice to encourage bee forage.