Individual study: Organic farming increases the diversity and abundance of wild bees on annually mown fallow strips in Soester Boerde, Leine Bergland and Lahn-Dill-Bergland, Germany
Holzschuh A., Steffan-Dewenter I. & Tscharntke T. (2008) Agricultural landscapes with organic crops support higher pollinator diversity. Oikos, 354-361
German organic farmers receive subsidies through European agri-environment schemes. This study compares bee communities on permanent fallow strips next to organic and conventional wheat Triticum aestivum fields in Soester Boerde, Leine Bergland and Lahn-Dill-Bergland, Germany.
Permanent fallow strips next to 21 organic and 21 conventionally-farmed wheat fields were surveyed. Strips were 2.6 m wide on average with grass and herb vegetation. They were annually mown and most included a ditch.
Fallow strips next to organic fields had more bee species and more individual bees than strips next to conventional fields (average totals over four surveys: 6.33 species, 8.5 bumblebees and 2.6 solitary bees/100 m next to organic fields; 3.95 species, 3.7 bumblebees and 1.1 solitary bees/100 m next to conventional fields).