Jozef Banaszak

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Investigations carried out by the author for 15 years on the Wielkopolsko-Kujawska Lowland (Western Poland) showed that wild bees (Apoidea) arc today under strong human pressure. About 260 bee species were found in the area of 20,000 km2 A similar number of species was recorded in this area by investigation half a century ago, which indicates that the survival of the fauna seems to be the result of some compensating factors reducing the effects of intensive agricultural management. The main factor among these is the mosaic structure of the landscape, consisting of meadows and residues of natural and semi-natural plant communities as a fauna refuge system and crop fields as an additional nutritive system. It was found that in a normally functioning agricultural landscape, the share of farmland should not exceed three-quarters of the total surface. The remaining part of the landscape should be made up of refuge habitats for Apoides. Within such a system, qualitative and quantitative changes of the bee fauna can occur on a microregional scale and are usually of temporary character. On a regional scale they are not perceivable and probably not so important. Hence, instead of changes in fauna, one should rather speak about quantitative oscillations inside a given region. The second factor decreasing the negative effects of management is the introduction of extensive areas of some nutritive plants, e.g. rape.

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