Journal of Insect Conservation

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 61–67 | Cite as

Organic farming promotes bee abundance in vineyards in Italy but not in South Africa

  • Temitope KehindeEmail author
  • Henrik von Wehrden
  • Michael Samways
  • Alexandra-Maria Klein
  • Claire Brittain


Although grapevine is a crop that produces fruit without insect pollination, vineyards may provide resources for bees and other pollinators. Flower resources such as pollen and nectar are provided by the vine plants as well as other flowering plants including cover crops grown between the vine rows. Little is known about how management and landscape context affects bee communities in pollinator-independent crop systems such as grapevine. This study investigates the effect of organic versus conventional management on bee species richness and abundance in vineyards in Italy and South Africa both having a Mediterranean climate. In each country, six pairs of organic and conventional vineyards were studied in simplified and complex agricultural landscapes. A total of 433 bee individuals from 25 species and 1049 individuals from 15 species were recovered in pan traps from Italy and South Africa respectively. Bee abundance showed region specific response to the effects of vineyard management. Flowering plants and proportion of uncultivated land mediated differences in bee abundance. Higher flowering plant species richness and flower density were found in organic vineyards compared to conventional vineyards in South Africa but these flowering plant indices were not significantly different between the two vineyard management types in Italy. This emphasizes the necessity for local and region specific studies for informing conservation, as even in the same crop system with a similar climate, the effects of farm management differed between countries.


Organic versus conventional management Landscape complexity Mediterranean-type ecosystems Pollinator abundance and diversity 



We thank the vineyard owners for making their farms available for this study. TOK received funding from DAAD and AG Leventis Foundation. CB acknowledges the support of EU 6th Frame-work Programme projects ALARM (Assessing Large-scale environmental Risks for biodiversity with tested Methods, Settele et al., 2005, 2008;; GOCE-CT-2003-506675) and COCONUT (Understanding effects of land use changes on ecosystems to halt loss of biodiversity;; SSPI-CT-2006-044343) also received funding from RETF(University of Reading, UK) and the Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (FORMAS). MJS acknowledges financial support from the National Research Foundation, South Africa.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (PDF 869 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Temitope Kehinde
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  • Henrik von Wehrden
    • 2
  • Michael Samways
    • 1
  • Alexandra-Maria Klein
    • 3
  • Claire Brittain
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Conservation Ecology and EntomologyStellenbosch UniversityMatielandSouth Africa
  2. 2.Institute of Ecology, Faculty of Sustainability and Centre for MethodsLeuphana University LüneburgLüneburgGermany
  3. 3.Nature Conservation and Landscape EcologyUniversity of FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  4. 4.Department of EntomologyUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  5. 5.Department of ZoologyObafemi Awolowo UniversityIle-IfeNigeria

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