Network modelling, citizen science and targeted interventions to predict, monitor and reverse bee decline
Pollination is fundamentally important to ecosystem function and human food security.
Recent reports of dramatic insect declines, and pollinator decline in particular,
have increased public awareness and political motivation to act to protect pollinators.
This article maps commonly proposed management interventions onto known drivers
of bee decline, and identifies forage and nest site provision as a tractable management
intervention that can simultaneously address multiple drivers of decline.
However, it is recognized that there are gaps in the knowledge of exactly how much
and which types of forage resources are necessary to support wild pollinator populations.
A novel network analysis approach based on quantified floral resources and
pollination services is proposed, which would illuminate the types and quantities of
floral resources and pollinators necessary to maintain a diverse and abundant plant–
pollinator community. The approach would also facilitate the prediction of species
extinctions in plant–pollinator communities and help target conservation interventions.
Finally, Oxford Plan Bee is introduced as a new, citizen‐science‐based project
to monitor solitary bee populations, and provide empirical data to validate predictions
from the proposed network approach. The over‐arching aim of the described
network analysis approach and the Oxford Plan Bee project is to facilitate effective,
evidence‐based conservation action to protect pollinators and the plants they
pollinate into the future.