Ecological and Environmental Change Research Group
MSc project

Pesticides vs. pollinators

Bjørn Arild Hatteland

A view between two rows of apple trees towards Hardanger fjord
Bjørn Arild Hatteland

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The master thesis work will be part of the project PlantValue led by researchers at the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO). PlantValue focuses on methodologies to measure and examine the environmental, economic, and social value of the Norwegian plant health regulations regime. One of the case studies in the project is to evaluate effects of pesticides on pollinators in fruit orchards. Several recent studies have shown that pollinators are declining in species diversity as well as abundance and the use of pesticides in food production may be part of the reason for the decline.

Research question: Does the commonly used pesticide Calypso (a neonicotinoid) affect pollinator activity, fruit set, and harvest?

Methods: Pollinator observations and sampling will be carried out in fruit orchards with various pesticide treatments. Fruit-set and harvest will also be analysed in the same orchards. Fruit orchards in western Norway (Hardanger and Sogn) will be selected for all observations and analyses. NIBIO Ullensvang research station will be used during fieldwork.

Contact: Dr Bjørn Arild Hatteland, NIBIO and University of Bergen, bjorn.hatteland@nibio.no