Webinar: BEESPOKE Project Dec 2020

An introduction to the BEESPOKE Project

An introduction to the Interreg North Sea Region BEESPOKE Project explores the nature focused measures and best practices to measure and benefit pollinators on farms. Pollinators are a cornerstone of healthy functioning ecosystems; the services they provide are essential for farmers and growers. 

The webinar includes presentations, case studies and discussions from the project partners, including NIAB EMR's Dr Michelle Fountain.

Webinar: Introduction to the BEESPOKE Project 

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Making the most of flower-rich areas 
Presentation by Jojanneke Bijkerk for the Introduction to the BEESPOKE Project webinar

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Identifying areas that need improvement 
Presentation by Ivan Meus and Arjen Strijkstra for the Introduction to the BEESPOKE Project webinar

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Learn more about the basic idea of BEESPOKE with this 3 minute video

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Welcome and introduction to the project
John Holland, Project co-ordinator, Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (UK)

The development of Beespoke seed mixes and management
Lene Sigsgaard, University of Copenhagen (DK)
Pollinators differ in their effectiveness at pollinating different crops. To increase crop pollination we have developed and are testing crop specific seed mixes that best support the required pollinators.

Making the most of flower-rich areas
Jojanneke Bijkerk, Owner/Director of Cruydt-Hoeck (NL)
Top tips for selecting the right seed mix, establishment and management.

Case study 1: The value of grassland for pollinators and its enhancement
Dirk Albach, University of Oldenburg (D)
Grasslands are dominating the landscape of many parts of the North Sea region and are usually covered by a single grass species. To improve the attractiveness of these habitats, we experiment with different seed mixes introducing species that are valuable for cows and insects.

Case study 2: Conservation of rare bee species in Belgium
Jens D'Haeseleer, Natuurpunt study (BE)
Enhancing floral resources on farms can also help with the conservation of endangered pollinators. In Belgium the role of flower borders and alfalfa in the conservation of natural pollinators (and the red shanked carder bee in particular) is being explored in the VLM Frontzate demo area.

Evaluation of success
Michelle Fountain, NIAB EMR (UK)
To determine whether pollination levels are adequate it is essential that there are robust techniques for measuring pollinators and pollination. Protocols for horticultural and arable crops are being tested by the partners and guidelines/training materials will be developed.

1st Q&A Session

Identifying areas that need improvement
Ivan Meeus, University of Ghent (BE) and Arjen Strijkstra, University of Applied Sciences Van Hall Larenstein (NL)
Modelling approaches are being developed and are being tested initially in a case study on sweet cherry in Belgium and another is being developed to estimate the carrying capacity of landscapes for bumblebees.

Implications for policy
Frank Stubbe, Head of AES at Flemish Land Agency Region West (VLM)
If resources for pollinators are to be improved then it is essential that the farmers can obtain financial and legislative support. We are identifying the shortfalls in current AEM schemes in each partners country and will provide recommendations for improvement.

Project outputs and outcomes
Jan-Willem van Kruyssen, Communications Consultant (NL)
Outreach is a key component of the project and we will deliver this through the network of demonstration farms, knowledge exchange events, training materials and guidelines through a variety of modern media.

2nd Q&A Session

Further information

Find out more about the Interreg North Sea Region BEESPOKE Project here

BEESPOKE is carried out in the framework of the Interreg North Sea Region Programme under the Programme Priority 3 “Sustainable North Sea Region” and the Specific Objective 3.2 “Develop new methods for the long-term sustainable management of North Sea ecosystems”. The programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) of the European Union


Project coordinator - jholland [at] gwct.org.uk (John Holland ) 
Media & PR Coordinator - jw [at] vankruyssen.eu (Jan-Wilem van Kruyssen)