To assess the value of native bees as pollinators a simulation model is used to estimate annual canola yield attributable to pollination by native bees. Bee abundance is predicted based on the amount of uncultivated land within 750 m of canola fields, and canola yield is then predicted based on the estimates of bee abundance. The assessment is a dollar value of the potential increase of canola yields owing to pollinators.
When using this assessment, users can predict changes in crop yields based on changes to pollinator management actions. For example, a user could explore trade-offs between increasing pollinator abundance on crop yields and the resulting loss of cultivated area to the hedgerows.
The model can help the user find the “sweet spot” where pollinator-friendly management practices lead to increased canola yields most effectively.