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Farmers Help Create 'Virtual Safe Space' to Save Bumblebees


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A bumblebee in flight.

A new decision-support tool provides a computer simulation of bumblebee colony survival for a given landscape.

Credit: quarespace-cdn.com

Land-management strategies to save bumblebees can be tested in a "virtual safe space" developed by scientists at the U.K.'s University of Exeter in collaboration with farmers and landowners.

The freely available Bee-Steward decision-support tool offers a computer model of bumblebee colony survival in a given landscape.

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust is using Bee-Steward to test and direct land management to help bumblebees and farm businesses prosper in Cornwall county.

The Trust's Richard Comont said, "The Bee-Steward model will be fantastic for conservation planning—it lets us time-travel to see the long-term results of changing management and compare all the possible options to see which one will work out best for bumblebees."

From University of Exeter (U.K.)
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