We are worrying about the wrong bees, says Gwen Pearson in Science magazine.


Honey bees will be fine.  Apis mellifera will not go extinct and the species is not remotely threatened with extinction. The bees we should be concerned about are the wild native species.



In a Research trial (published in the Nature Journal) it found that Honey bees weren’t affected by seeds treated with neonicotinoid pesticides but wild bees were and in a big way. Wild bee density in the treated fields was half that of the untreated fields. Bumble bee colonies grew more slowly and produced fewer queens. Solitary bee nests disappeared from the treated fields completely.



Many wild pollinators are declining and honeybees can’t pick up the slack. Managed colonies supplement the work of wild pollinators, not the other way round. Wild bees and other insects do most of the pollination and are actually more effective pollinators –two to three times better.
Studies from many countries have demonstrated the negative effects of commercial bees, leading to a decline in local bee populations through competition over floral resources. It was found where hives of honeybees were placed, the bumblebees disappeared almost entirely.
Honeybees are more interested in the nectar and don’t really want the pollen if they can avoid it; whereas wild bees are mostly pollen collectors, which is then taken back to their nests.
There is even a suggestion that wild flowers may be declining because they are not being effectively pollinated and therefore not reproducing.

All the above is condensed from original articles. If anyone wants a link to the more detailed originals, just ask. They won’t copy and paste from this blog.