Chapter 2 Bees, bats and earwigs

Chapter 2 – Bees, bats and earwigs

37-38. My description of Thatchers cider works in Somerset comes from a visit I made there (including an interview with Martin Thatcher) in May 2014. More on the company here:

39. On page 39 I say that about two thirds of the world’s crop plant species rely on animal pollination. A source for that fact can be found at:

39. For more on the stresses and challenges caused by the decline of pollinators in China and California, see Juniper, T (2013) What has Nature ever done for us? Profile Books. London.

39. On the decline in bees in the UK see: Biesmiejer, J. C. et al., (2006). Parallel declines in pollinators and insect pollinated plants in Britain and the Netherlands, Science 313, pp.351-354. You can find that on-line here:

39-40. For more on the especially damaging consequences of flower rich habitats, see: Winfree, R. et al., (2009). A meta-analysis of bees’ responses to anthropogenic disturbance, Ecology (2009) 90(8) pp. 2068–2076. See that here:'_responses_to_anthropogenic_disturbance

40. On page 40 I write about the implications for pollinators arising from wild plant decline. For a source on this point see: Carvell, C. et al, (2007). Comparing the efficacy of agri-environment schemes to enhance bumblebee abundance and diversity on arable field margins, Journal of Applied Ecology 44, pp.29-40. See on-line here:

40. From page 40 I cite remarks made by Professor Jeff Ollerton in an interview. You can see more of his research and publications here:

42. On page 42 I mention the past popularity of bee keeping. See Showler, K., (1996). The development of national beekeeping associations in England. Study Two: 1940-1990, Bee World, 77, pp.16-25. For background on the recent resurgence of beekeeping see: Fera (The Food and Environment Research Agency), (2011). Honey Bees. 

43. There is a mention of the impact of the Varroa mite on honeybee colonies. See for example Berthoud, H. et al, (2010). Virus infections and winter losses of honeybee colonies, Journal of Apicultural Research. 49, pp.60-65. This 2010 summary of the situation by Peter Neumann and Norman Carreck is helpful too.

43. On page 43 I say that about 31,000 tonnes of pesticides are used in the UK each year. That figure relates to the situation in 2005. Data are collected and published annually by FERA (an official agency of DEFRA). See here:

43-45. Regarding the controversy surrounding the impact of neonicotinoid pesticides (page 43-45) I mention experiments that seek to investigate the effect on bees at levels they’d encounter in farmed landscapes.  See for example Feltham, H., Park, K. and Goulson, D., (2014). Field realistic doses of pesticide imidacloprid reduce bumblebee pollen foraging efficiency, Ecotoxicology (2014) 23:3, pp 317-323. See on-line here:

44. For my source linking the use of neonicotinoid pesticides with farmland bird declines, see Hallmann, C. A. et al, (2014). Declines in insectivorous birds are associated with high neonicotinoid concentrations, Nature 511, pp.341–343.

46. On page 46 I write about the relative importance of wild pollinators compared with domesticated honeybees. One study that seeks to quantify this difference is Lucas A. Garibaldi et al. (2013), Wild Pollinators Enhance Fruit Set of Crops Regardless of Honey Bee Abundance. Science 29, Vol. 339 no. 6127 pp. 1608-1611. This paper can been seen on-line at:

46. I also mention the work of Dr Tom Breeze on page 46. His results on pollination services to the UK can be found in Breeze T.D. et al, (2011). Pollination services in the UK: How important are honeybees? Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 142 (3-4). pp. 137-143. You can see a version of this paper at:

47. Research mentioned on page 47 that found an advantage for oilseed rape production in Canada arising from leaving areas of farms uncultivated is from Lora A. Morandin and Mark L. Winston, (2006). Pollinators provide economic incentive to preserve natural land in agroecosystems. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 116, Issue 3, Pages 289-292. You can find that paper here and Winston writes about that theme in this piece for the New York Times while Jullian Lee at the World Bank cites that work here:

48. On page 48 I report the views of the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee regarding domestic production of fruits and vegetables. The Independent provides more details here:

49. On page 49 I write about the origins and business of Ribena. Most of this came from an interview with Rob Saunders. More about that company can be found here:

50. On page 50 I mention the work of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. More on them here:

51. UIster Wildlife are mentioned on page 51. I visisted reserves with staff from the organisation in August 2014. More on their work here:

55. Page 55 carries a reference to the work of Dr Michelle Fountain at East Malling Research in Kent. Some of her work on the control of pear suckers via natural predators can be found in Fountain, M. T., Nagy, C., Harris, A. L., Cross, J. V., (2013). Importance of naturally occurring predators for pear sucker control.  Integrated protection of fruit crops IOBC-WPRS Bulletin, 91 pp.117-125.

57-59. For more on Hope Farm that I visited in the Spring of 2014 and write about on pages 57-59, you can find more details about what RSPB is doing there here:

60. On page 60 I mention work looking at the pest control values of Great Tits nesting in a Dutch apple orchard. This is derived from Mols C.M. and Visser M.E. (2007). Great Tits (Parus major) Reduce Caterpillar Damage in Commercial Apple Orchards. PLoS ONE 2(2): e202. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000202 You can source that paper on-line here:

60. Further down on page 60 is a reference to work looking into the economic importance of bats arising from their predation of pests. A good summary can be found at and original research at Boyles, J. G., Cryan, P. M., McCracken, G. F., Kunz, T. H., (2011). Economic Importance of Bats in Agriculture, Science 332:6025 pp. 41-42. It can be soured via this link: