Did you know that after cattle and pigs, bees are the most important animals in agriculture? The yield performance of many crops in crop production, horticulture and fruit growing depends on the pollination performance of bees.
From crop rotation to increasing yield performance with bees
Bees are an important component of many ecosystems. Their biological diversity also forms a fundamental basis within agriculture. The agricultural use of these ecosystems has always shaped our cultural landscapes and at the same time provides bees and other pollinators with habitat and food. The implementation of good professional practice and farm management can not only lead to higher yields, but also improve the habitat for bees. Crop rotation planning plays a crucial role here. For example, grain legumes can be integrated into the crop rotation to improve the soil. They maintain soil performance, increase nitrogen supply, and improve crop rotation quality. As main and catch crops, they have a positive effect on the agricultural ecosystem. In addition, they reduce production costs by reducing the use of fertiliser and pesticides. Legumes supply the bees with pollen and nectar, which they can use to survive during periods of food scarcity. Thus, agriculture and bees are in constant interaction. The yield of oilseeds and grain legumes, for example, are strongly influenced by pollination by bees or other flower-pollinating insects. More than 200 crop species worldwide depend on pollination. The yield of oilseed rape, for example, can be increased by about 20% through pollination. For these reasons, the habitats for wild bees and other pollinators have been made quite diverse and multifunctional by European agriculture in recent years. Open spaces and field margins with wildflowers and other non-cultivated plant types are part of the landscape in many places. They provide habitats and food sources for bees, other insect and animal species.