ResearchThe decline in many wild bee species has been observed all across the world. Agricultural intensification and consequently habitat fragmentation, landscape simplification and increased pesticide use has been linked to waning wild bee numbers. Furthermore, honeybees, artificially introduced to otherwise foreign regions, pose not only health risks to native wild bees but can also impact the overall presence of other pollinators, driving them away from their natural niches and foraging sites.
ComBee examines the combined effects of organic farming and other agri-environmental measures (e.g. hedges, flower strips) and the landscape composition (i.e. the proportion of semi-natural habitats on the diversity of wild bees, their resource utilization and population development of wild bees and managed honeybees as well as the transmission and spread of pathogens and natural enemies. We analyze the direct and indirect effects of pathogens, resource availability and landscape composition on plant-pollinator interactions, wild bee diversity, colony development and bee health and thus contribute to a better understanding of the main causes of bee losses.
ComBee comprises the following work packages (WPs):