Special Issue "Pollination and Agriculture"

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 October 2017) | Viewed by 7032

Special Issue Editors

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

World food security is mainly dependent on abundance of natural pollinators, including wild and managed bees. The biodiversity and populations of insect pollinators are in substantial decline. Various wild pollinators including important bee species have suffered serious declines and, in several cases, they have disappeared from their natural habitats. Since 2008, honeybee colonies worldwide have been declining at significant rates. This assurance seeks to address issues related to declining honeybee populations by investing increased foraging spaces for existing honeybees. This commitment is a key step in restoring vital honey bee populations and ensuring sustainable crop yields; a critical need for global food security.

A great deal of attention has been focused on managed honeybee losses, since there is a strong population decline of bee species and it has been a serious threat to the stability and yield of food crops. A single factor has not been identified to explain the decline of both managed and wild bees and probably multiple factors are likely to be involved, including the occurrence of epidemiological factors affecting honeybee health, including disease and parasites, the degradation and fragmentation of habitats in intensively managed agricultural landscapes, the loss of flower rich plant communities associated with traditional landscape uses and the negative side effects of widespread use of agricultural pesticides.

To overcome the pollinators’ decline, several tools have been proposed. It has been demonstrated that the communities of flower-visiting insects can be enhanced thanks to field margins, hedges, other buffer zones and set-aside fields. Indeed, such areas offer a suitable environment for soil-nesting bee pollinators and Lepidoptera that require particular plant species for oviposition. Moreover, the introduction of flower strips into agricultural landscape may promote the establishment of pollinator communities, including butterflies and cavity-nesting Hymenoptera, with special reference to honeybees and bumblebees; it may happen also in case of urban ecosystems.

In the scenario mentioned above, this Special Issue will include articles by expert authorities on pollination ecology, horticulture and apidology. Articles will focus on advances in aspects of pollinator biology and ecology that will boost crop production, as well as preserve global biodiversity worldwide.

Dr. Giovanni Benelli
Dr. Sengotthayan Senthil Nathan
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Agriculture is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • honeybees
  • bumblebees
  • Colony Collapse Disorder
  • flower-visiting insects
  • horticulture
  • pollination ecology
  • urban pollinators
  • Varroa
  • wildflower strips

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Using Colony Monitoring Devices to Evaluate the Impacts of Land Use and Nutritional Value of Forage on Honey Bee Health
Agriculture 2018, 8(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8010002 - 25 Dec 2017
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 6224
Colony monitoring devices used to track and assess the health status of honey bees are becoming more widely available and used by both beekeepers and researchers. These devices monitor parameters relevant to colony health at frequent intervals, often approximating real time. The fine-scale [...] Read more.
Colony monitoring devices used to track and assess the health status of honey bees are becoming more widely available and used by both beekeepers and researchers. These devices monitor parameters relevant to colony health at frequent intervals, often approximating real time. The fine-scale record of hive condition can be further related to static or dynamic features of the landscape, such as weather, climate, colony density, land use, pesticide use, vegetation class, and forage quality. In this study, we fit commercial honey bee colonies in two apiaries with pollen traps and digital scales to monitor floral resource use, pollen quality, and honey production. One apiary was situated in low-intensity agriculture; the other in high-intensity agriculture. Pollen traps were open for 72 h every two weeks while scales recorded weight every 15 min throughout the growing season. From collected pollen, we determined forage quantity per day, species identity using DNA sequencing, pesticide residues, amino acid content, and total protein content. From scales, we determined the accumulated hive weight change over the growing season, relating to honey production and final colony weight going into winter. Hive scales may also be used to identify the occurrence of environmental pollen and nectar dearth, and track phenological changes in plant communities. We provide comparisons of device-derived data between two apiaries over the growing season and discuss the potential for employing apiary monitoring devices to infer colony health in the context of divergent agricultural land use conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pollination and Agriculture)
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