Agricultural entomology

Last changed: 12 July 2023
Bumblebee in faba bean flower

Insects are many and diverse. They drive key ecological processes in the agricultural landscape such pollination, herbivore regulation and decomposition. Many are beneficial, but some are problematic and can be pests in our crops.

  • We explore insects and other arthropods in the agroecosystem that regulate populations of crop pests and weeds, pollinate crops and wild plants, decompose litter and produce honey.
  • We develop tools to manage problematic insects for farming.
  • We explore how climate and management of the field, farm and landscape affect plants and arthropod food webs, biodiversity, ecosystem functions and crop production.
  • We develop sustainable crop protection and crop production systems.
  • Experiments and molecular tools are used to map who eats whom in the food webs.
  • Diseases and genetic profiles are diagnosed in honey bees and wild bees. Our research on beekeeping and bee health is unique in Sweden and has global relevance.

Our research teams

The Agricultural entomology unit is led by Professor Riccardo Bommarco and builds on four collaborating research teams:

Bommarco lab - biodiversity, diversifying and ecosystem services

We study insect and plant ecology in agriculture. We explore how farming practices, land use and climate affect biodiversity and ecosystem functions such as crop yield, pest regulation and pollination.We participate in interdisciplinary research on economy and societal transformations.

Contact: Riccardo Bommarco

SLU Biodiversity and biocontrol lab

We perform research on biodiversity and ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes. We study the links between biodiversity, food-web structure and service provisioning, and how farming practices and land use at different scales can be modified to support ecosystem services. We primarily study biological control of invertebrate pests and weeds, but also work with other ecosystem services such as pollination.

Contact: Mattias Jonsson

Ninkovic lab - plant communication and sustainable crop protection 

Plants do not see, hear, smell or test, but they communicate with each other in different ways including chemical signalling between different plants pairs. The aim of our research is to develop sustainable crop protection strategies based understanding of the interactions between plants, insects and their natural enemies.

Contact: Velemir Ninkovic

Honey bee research 

We study the transmission of bee diseases within and between honeybee colonies, how bee health is affected by different biotic and abiotic factors and how bees defend themselves against bee diseases. Healthy bees are important not only for professional and hobby beekeepers but also for you and me. About one third of the human diet is directly or indirectly dependent on insect pollination and the honey bee (Apis mellifera) is the most important insect pollinator.

Contact: Barbara Locke and Joachim De Miranda

Contact us

Personell at the Agricultural entomology unit