In the bumble bee colony a continuous supply of forage resources is crucial for the successful establishment, growth and finally production of reproducing individuals (males and queens). In the impoverished agricultural landscape of today, with few permanent habitats for forage and predominantly early flowering mass-flowering crops such as oilseed rape, lack of forage resources may limit the survival of the bees.
The project aim is to study the utilisation of annual flower strips in agricultural landscapes by bumble bees and other wild bees. The flower strips are established in homogeneous landscapes dominated by arable fields. The annual plants sown in the strips are Phacelia tanacetifolia, Trifolium resupinatum and Vicia sativa.