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Re: [Pollinator] Competition by honey bees not significant

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  • Peter Bernhardt
    Dear Mr. Borst: You are making claims you can not justify because you have not read all the work of other people who have completed and published field studies
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 23, 2012
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      Dear Mr. Borst:

      You are making claims you can not justify because you have not read all the work of other people who have completed and published field studies on the impact of non-native Apis mellifera on populations of anthophilous birds and insects.  That is why I recommended the papers of Dr. David Paton to you and other NAPPC members,  The following links may help introduce the older literature.  Yes, both are reviews but if you finish them you will see the papers Dr. Paton based on his own field research in the references.  

      The fact that the Oecologia (2000)  study showed unambiguous, negative results doesn't mean that ALL other studies around the world had the same response.  One also wonders whether the other members of the Cohen lab, in which you work, share your inflexible support for the same publications?  Remember, the other pollen-nectar consuming animals of Europe (at least through southern Europe) evolved with A, mellifera or went extinct.  The history of the honeybee in the Western Hemisphere is less than 500 years old from Canada to Tierra del Fuego.   .  

      Granted, the Patton studies may seem rather old-fashioned and quaint to someone with a  degree in computer graphics/bioinformatics (according to your website).  Nevertheless, they were produced by someone with real training in field-based protocols and sampling techniques.  You trust the work of Dr. Roubik and so do I.  However, Dr. Roubik might agree with me that two consortia of scientists can perform the exact same field experiment in two entirely different parts of the world and end up with completely opposing results.  It's the differences in the two environments that ultimately determines the results in each case.  This is obvious if you read Gurevitch, Scheiner and Fox (2006) The Ecology of Plants and focus on their treatments of famous, field experiments in chapters 5, 10-13.  Western Europe is not quite North America.  An island off the cost of Panama is not the land around the Sonoran Desert museum in Arizona.

      Peter Bernhardt

      On Fri, Mar 23, 2012 at 5:50 AM, Peter Loring Borst <peterlborst@...> wrote:
      Although competition between honey bees and wild bees
      is often expected, we did not find any evidence for significant
      effects at the densities of bees and flowers we
      studied. Further, no other study has unambiguously
      shown negative effects of honey bees on the reproductive
      success of wild bees, although resource overlap and
      competitive exclusion from the most profitable flower
      patches have been demonstrated.

      Interspecific competition by
      honey bees for food resources was not shown to be a significant
      factor determining abundance and species richness
      of wild bees.

      Resource overlap and possible competition between honey bees and wild bees in central Europe
      Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter · Teja Tscharntke
      Oecologia (2000) 122:288–296
      © Springer-Verlag 2000

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