The project aim is to better understand the pollination biology and biological control of pests in red clover seed production. Two factors are thought to limit seed production in clover; incomplete pollination and attack by seed eating pests. Clover is dependent on cross fertilization by insects. Without insect pollination, the clover seed yield becomes negligible. Clover is primarily pollinated by bumble bees and other bees. Clover is also attacked by seed eating pest insects. Mainly Apion weevils attack the clover flowering heads and generally cause serious damage with observed yield losses over 50%.
The project aims to develop management schemes to enhance the ecosystem services pollination and biological pest control in clover seed production, at the landscape, farm, and field level.