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Fwd: [beemonitoring] Coevolution

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  • Peter L Borst
    ... I have accumulated 70 papers on the subject, including the special issue of Philosophical Transactions B entitled  Darwin and the evolution of flowers
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 18, 2011
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      On Fri, Mar 18, 2011 at 11:29 AM, Peter Bernhardt <bernhap2@...> wrote:
      > Please explore the scientific literature thoroughly before you sit down and write a popular piece.  We don't need yet another article that will make bee keepers feel good about flooding the landscape with non-native domesticant.  I've lived in Australia for close to a decade and I've seen where that logic can lead.

      I have accumulated 70 papers on the subject, including the special
      issue of Philosophical Transactions B entitled  'Darwin and the
      evolution of flowers' edited by Peter R. Crane, et al. Your statements
      are a bit presumptuous at best.  I said nothing about honey bees, so I
      have no idea where you are coming from with your "non-native
      domesticant" whatever that may mean. However, apropos of that, I would
      offer:

      > Negative effects of honey bees suggested by some authors (e.g., Robert- son et al. 1989; Buchmann and Nabhan 1996; Sugden et al. 1996) have included competition with native fauna for pollen, nectar, and nesting hollows; inferior pollination of native plants; increased hybridization and physical damage of plants; and exacerbation of exotic weed problems. Few of these effects, however, are supported by experimental data. Many charges are undocumented, and some are implausible or untrue.

      > Conservation concerns regarding honey bees have recently become quite topical (e.g., Buchmann and Nabham 1996; Matheson et al. 1996; Sugden et al. 1996). A widely cited paper states that honey bees are poor pollinators because they do not pollinate some plants as well as do other pollinators (Westercamp 1991). Some have recommended that honey bees be excluded from conservation areas intended for other native bees, even where honey bees are native. They leave the impression that honey bees are particularly damaging, which sharply contrasts with the evidence provided in this review.

      > No evidence exists, however, to indicate that the introduction of honey bees has caused decreased population size or extinction of any native biota, as has been extensively predicted or surmised. No evidence exists to indicate drastic effects by honey bees on native systems, or radical alteration of native communities. Until data are available, characterization of the honey bee as a serious conservation threat is unwarranted.

      Ecological Impacts of Introduced Honey Bees
      Vivian M. Butz Huryn
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