Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Recently Introduced Bees - A Potentially Large and Unstudied Problem

Expand Messages
  • Sam Droege
    All: I am having some trepidations about 3 species of recently introduced bees whose populations appear to be skyrocketing. Osmia cornifrons Osmia taurus
    Message 1 of 4 , May 17, 2007
    • 0 Attachment

      All:

      I am having some trepidations about 3 species of recently introduced bees whose populations appear to be skyrocketing.

      Osmia cornifrons
      Osmia taurus
      Anthophora plumipes

      The epicenters for these 3 species appear to be the D.C area with O. cornifrons, O. taurus having spread widely throughout VA, WV at least and A. plumipes still appearing largely circumscribed to the D.C. area.  

      All 3 are now abundant enough that I get numerous emails and calls about their presence and I find them abundant, at times, in our trapping.

      Here are some conservation issues.

      The Osmia species both seem to have very similar habits to the native O. lignaria, size is similar and come from the same subgenus.  There are now so common as I can't believe there isn't some competition going on, for hole sites, pollen, etc.  Additionally, a recently discovered parasite of these species has been found in the region and may also adversely affect native Osmians.  Orchardists now spread O. cornifrons and perhaps the look alike O. taurus around, but wild populations appear to far outnumber managed trap nests.

      This group is very easy to study as all 3 readily take to trap nests.  Thus it would be easy to look at survivorship, fecundity, parasitism rates over large regions, where they are established, becoming established, and where they have yet to arrive.  

      A. plumipes is a different bird and may or may not compete with native species, but it is becoming very common in the D.C. are and it would be very interesting to run parallel studies of the movement, fecundity, etc. of this spring species compared to that of the Osmians.

      I won't have time to pursue this, but wanted to get the idea out in the ether.  Given that 7 or so species of exotic bees have been discovered this decade already, compared to an average of 1 per decade previously, I am afraid introduced species are going to become more of an issue in the future.

      sam

      Sam Droege  Sam_Droege@...                      
      w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
      USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
      BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD  20705
      Http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov


      Ozymandias


      I met a traveller from an antique land
      Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
      Stand in the desert ... Near them, on the sand,a
      Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
      And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
      Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
      Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
      The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
      And on the pedestal these words appear:
      "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
      Look on my works ye mighty and despair!"
      Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
      Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
      The lone and level sands stretch far away.

                -- Percy Bysshe Shelley
    • T'ai Roulston
      Sam et al.: I concur with the skyrocketing nature of Osmia cornifrons/taurus. I pulled 7 O. taurus off the porch screen here at my field station in the
      Message 2 of 4 , May 17, 2007
      • 0 Attachment
        Sam et al.:

        I concur with the skyrocketing nature of Osmia cornifrons/taurus. I pulled
        7 O. taurus off the porch screen here at my field station in the northern
        Shenandoah Valley in one day this year. I didn't see this species at all
        here 5 years ago when I arrived. I'm attaching a photo of a nest site I
        discovered this spring that indicates it isn't all that picky about
        cavities. The bee is returning to its nest site in a pile of greenhouse
        roof material. The chambers are rectangular and open ended and there were
        probably about 30-50 females nesting there.

        I haven't seen Anthophora plumipes yet.
        T'ai


        At 09:46 AM 5/17/2007 -0400, you wrote:


        >All:
        >
        >I am having some trepidations about 3 species of recently introduced bees
        >whose populations appear to be skyrocketing.
        >
        >Osmia cornifrons
        >Osmia taurus
        >Anthophora plumipes
        >
        >The epicenters for these 3 species appear to be the D.C area with O.
        >cornifrons, O. taurus having spread widely throughout VA, WV at least and
        >A. plumipes still appearing largely circumscribed to the D.C. area.
        >
        >All 3 are now abundant enough that I get numerous emails and calls about
        >their presence and I find them abundant, at times, in our trapping.
        >
        >Here are some conservation issues.
        >
        >The Osmia species both seem to have very similar habits to the native O.
        >lignaria, size is similar and come from the same subgenus. There are now
        >so common as I can't believe there isn't some competition going on, for
        >hole sites, pollen, etc. Additionally, a recently discovered parasite of
        >these species has been found in the region and may also adversely affect
        >native Osmians. Orchardists now spread O. cornifrons and perhaps the look
        >alike O. taurus around, but wild populations appear to far outnumber
        >managed trap nests.
        >
        >This group is very easy to study as all 3 readily take to trap
        >nests. Thus it would be easy to look at survivorship, fecundity,
        >parasitism rates over large regions, where they are established, becoming
        >established, and where they have yet to arrive.
        >
        >A. plumipes is a different bird and may or may not compete with native
        >species, but it is becoming very common in the D.C. are and it would be
        >very interesting to run parallel studies of the movement, fecundity, etc.
        >of this spring species compared to that of the Osmians.
        >
        >I won't have time to pursue this, but wanted to get the idea out in the
        >ether. Given that 7 or so species of exotic bees have been discovered
        >this decade already, compared to an average of 1 per decade previously, I
        >am afraid introduced species are going to become more of an issue in the
        >future.
        >
        >sam
        >
        >Sam Droege Sam_Droege@...
        >w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
        >USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
        >BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD 20705
        >Http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov
        >
        >
        >Ozymandias
        >
        >
        >I met a traveller from an antique land
        >Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
        >Stand in the desert ... Near them, on the sand,a
        >Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
        >And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
        >Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
        >Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
        >The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
        >And on the pedestal these words appear:
        >"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
        >Look on my works ye mighty and despair!"
        >Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
        >Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
        >The lone and level sands stretch far away.
        >
        > -- Percy Bysshe Shelley
        >


        T'ai Roulston
        Research Asst. Prof., Dept. Env. Sciences
        University of Virginia
        Associate Director
        Blandy Experimental Farm www.virginia.edu/blandy
        400 Blandy Farm Lane
        Boyce, Va. 22620 USA
        Ph# (540) 837-1758 ext 276 Fax (540) 837-1523
        http://www.people.virginia.edu/~thr8z/HomePage.html
      • Neal Williams
        Sam et al. I believe that we are seeing them here in Philadelphia region too. I have two reports from people of large number of bees in rafter area of
        Message 3 of 4 , May 17, 2007
        • 0 Attachment
          Sam et al.

          I believe that we are seeing them here in Philadelphia region too. I
          have two reports from people of large number of bees in rafter area of
          barns-They are OSmia for sure, but I need to key the specimens.
          Certainly they are horned.


          Neal Williams --Bryn Mawr College




          Sam Droege wrote:
          >
          >
          > All:
          >
          > I am having some trepidations about 3 species of recently introduced
          > bees whose populations appear to be skyrocketing.
          >
          > Osmia cornifrons
          > Osmia taurus
          > Anthophora plumipes
          >
          > The epicenters for these 3 species appear to be the D.C area with O.
          > cornifrons, O. taurus having spread widely throughout VA, WV at least
          > and A. plumipes still appearing largely circumscribed to the D.C. area.
          >
          > All 3 are now abundant enough that I get numerous emails and calls
          > about their presence and I find them abundant, at times, in our trapping.
          >
          > Here are some conservation issues.
          >
          > The Osmia species both seem to have very similar habits to the native
          > O. lignaria, size is similar and come from the same subgenus. There
          > are now so common as I can't believe there isn't some competition
          > going on, for hole sites, pollen, etc. Additionally, a recently
          > discovered parasite of these species has been found in the region and
          > may also adversely affect native Osmians. Orchardists now spread O.
          > cornifrons and perhaps the look alike O. taurus around, but wild
          > populations appear to far outnumber managed trap nests.
          >
          > This group is very easy to study as all 3 readily take to trap nests.
          > Thus it would be easy to look at survivorship, fecundity, parasitism
          > rates over large regions, where they are established, becoming
          > established, and where they have yet to arrive.
          >
          > A. plumipes is a different bird and may or may not compete with native
          > species, but it is becoming very common in the D.C. are and it would
          > be very interesting to run parallel studies of the movement,
          > fecundity, etc. of this spring species compared to that of the Osmians.
          >
          > I won't have time to pursue this, but wanted to get the idea out in
          > the ether. Given that 7 or so species of exotic bees have been
          > discovered this decade already, compared to an average of 1 per decade
          > previously, I am afraid introduced species are going to become more of
          > an issue in the future.
          >
          > sam
          >
          > Sam Droege Sam_Droege@...
          > w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
          > USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
          > BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD 20705
          > Http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov
          >
          >
          > Ozymandias
          >
          >
          > I met a traveller from an antique land
          > Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
          > Stand in the desert ... Near them, on the sand,a
          > Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
          > And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
          > Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
          > Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
          > The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
          > And on the pedestal these words appear:
          > "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
          > Look on my works ye mighty and despair!"
          > Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
          > Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
          > The lone and level sands stretch far away.
          >
          > -- Percy Bysshe Shelley
          >
          >


          --
          Neal Williams
          Dept. of Biology
          Bryn Mawr College
          Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

          Tel: 610-526-5091
          Fax: 610-526-5086
        • John S. Ascher
          Sam, T ai et al., Note the following passage pertaining to Osmia cornifrons from Giles and Ascher, 2006:218, J. Hym. Res. 15(2), where this species is
          Message 4 of 4 , May 17, 2007
          • 0 Attachment
            Sam, T'ai et al.,

            Note the following passage pertaining to Osmia cornifrons from Giles and
            Ascher, 2006:218, J. Hym. Res. 15(2), where this species is considered as
            potentially invasive for the first time:

            "After wide distribution and release, this species has recently
            established large populations in natural and urban (e.g., Manhattan and
            Brooklyn, NYC) habitats in the eastern United States to the point where it
            could be considered invasive..."

            Regarding Anthophora plumipes, it should be noted that this well-known
            polylectic species is native to at least 25 countries ranging from Spain
            to Japan and Greece. Some areas where A. plumipes occurs have notoriously
            cold winters, including Korea (don't forget the "Frozen Chosen" Marines at
            the Chosin Reservoir), Finland, and Siberia, so there is reason to
            question Batra's 2003 (citation below) assertion that "any escaping bees
            would not survive in the cold climate" of Maine and also her conclusion
            that the bee would be of particular use in the southeastern United States.
            It is interesting to note that similarly dubious claims have been made
            about the climatic limitations and preferences of Bombus impatiens, which
            supposedly requires cold winters but is in fact well known to occur in
            subtropical Miami in south Florida.

            The very wide range of A. plumipes in the Palearctic can be seen on this
            global map plotting literature records by country together with Sam
            Droege's specimen records from the USA:
            http://stri.discoverlife.org/mp/20m?kind=Anthophora+plumipes

            I strongly recommend that anyone interested in Osmia cornifrons and
            Anthophora plumipes read or reread "Bee Introductions to Pollinate our
            Crops" (pp. 85-98 of "For nonnative crops, whence pollinators of the
            future?" edited by Karen Strickler and James H. Cane) by Suzanne W. T.
            Batra, the principal proponent of spreading exotic Palearctic bee species
            to the North America. Therein, she asserts that "Widespread alarm about
            the introduction and spread of exotic organisms, including bees, is a
            fairly recent phenomenon gaining strength in the 1990s. It seems to be a
            religious view (sensu Radhakrishnan, 1951)..." In common with certain
            members of the Bush administration, she considers immigrants such as
            Palearctic bees as a legitimate means of increasing biodiversity in the
            United States. In this chapter, she repeatedly dismisses concerns
            expressed by other biologists about release of exotic bees by the USDA as,
            e.g., merely "Emotion (moral outrage)" and as "overreaction to slight
            risk...an example of misplaced conservatism common to regulatory
            agencies." In her view the burden of proof was entirely on those opposing
            the introductions. The divergence between her views on exotic species and
            those held by most biologists interested in maintaining native diversity
            could not be more stark.

            When considering the spread of Osmia cornifrons and Anthophora plumipes it
            is very important to remember that these did not accidently arrive in the
            USA like Megachile rotundata but instead were deliberately released with
            governmental approval, largely as the result of the strongly held views of
            a single person. In my opinion, insufficient attention was given to
            scientific considerations at the time, but it seems likely that these
            species are now a permanent part of our fauna, in which case we will have
            plenty of opportunity for future assessment of their merits.

            John




            > Sam et al.:
            >
            > I concur with the skyrocketing nature of Osmia cornifrons/taurus. I pulled
            > 7 O. taurus off the porch screen here at my field station in the northern
            > Shenandoah Valley in one day this year. I didn't see this species at all
            > here 5 years ago when I arrived. I'm attaching a photo of a nest site I
            > discovered this spring that indicates it isn't all that picky about
            > cavities. The bee is returning to its nest site in a pile of greenhouse
            > roof material. The chambers are rectangular and open ended and there were
            > probably about 30-50 females nesting there.
            >
            > I haven't seen Anthophora plumipes yet.
            > T'ai
            >
            >
            > At 09:46 AM 5/17/2007 -0400, you wrote:
            >
            >
            >>All:
            >>
            >>I am having some trepidations about 3 species of recently introduced bees
            >>whose populations appear to be skyrocketing.
            >>
            >>Osmia cornifrons
            >>Osmia taurus
            >>Anthophora plumipes
            >>
            >>The epicenters for these 3 species appear to be the D.C area with O.
            >>cornifrons, O. taurus having spread widely throughout VA, WV at least and
            >>A. plumipes still appearing largely circumscribed to the D.C. area.
            >>
            >>All 3 are now abundant enough that I get numerous emails and calls about
            >>their presence and I find them abundant, at times, in our trapping.
            >>
            >>Here are some conservation issues.
            >>
            >>The Osmia species both seem to have very similar habits to the native O.
            >>lignaria, size is similar and come from the same subgenus. There are now
            >>so common as I can't believe there isn't some competition going on, for
            >>hole sites, pollen, etc. Additionally, a recently discovered parasite of
            >>these species has been found in the region and may also adversely affect
            >>native Osmians. Orchardists now spread O. cornifrons and perhaps the
            >> look
            >>alike O. taurus around, but wild populations appear to far outnumber
            >>managed trap nests.
            >>
            >>This group is very easy to study as all 3 readily take to trap
            >>nests. Thus it would be easy to look at survivorship, fecundity,
            >>parasitism rates over large regions, where they are established, becoming
            >>established, and where they have yet to arrive.
            >>
            >>A. plumipes is a different bird and may or may not compete with native
            >>species, but it is becoming very common in the D.C. are and it would be
            >>very interesting to run parallel studies of the movement, fecundity, etc.
            >>of this spring species compared to that of the Osmians.
            >>
            >>I won't have time to pursue this, but wanted to get the idea out in the
            >>ether. Given that 7 or so species of exotic bees have been discovered
            >>this decade already, compared to an average of 1 per decade previously, I
            >>am afraid introduced species are going to become more of an issue in the
            >>future.
            >>
            >>sam
            >>
            >>Sam Droege Sam_Droege@...
            >>w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
            >>USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
            >>BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD 20705
            >>Http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov
            >>
            >>
            >>Ozymandias
            >>
            >>
            >>I met a traveller from an antique land
            >>Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
            >>Stand in the desert ... Near them, on the sand,a
            >>Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
            >>And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
            >>Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
            >>Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
            >>The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
            >>And on the pedestal these words appear:
            >>"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
            >>Look on my works ye mighty and despair!"
            >>Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
            >>Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
            >>The lone and level sands stretch far away.
            >>
            >> -- Percy Bysshe Shelley
            >>
            >
            >
            > T'ai Roulston
            > Research Asst. Prof., Dept. Env. Sciences
            > University of Virginia
            > Associate Director
            > Blandy Experimental Farm www.virginia.edu/blandy
            > 400 Blandy Farm Lane
            > Boyce, Va. 22620 USA
            > Ph# (540) 837-1758 ext 276 Fax (540) 837-1523
            > http://www.people.virginia.edu/~thr8z/HomePage.html
            >


            --
            John S. Ascher, Ph.D.
            Bee Database Project Manager
            Division of Invertebrate Zoology
            American Museum of Natural History
            Central Park West @ 79th St.
            New York, NY 10024-5192
            work phone: 212-496-3447
            mobile phone: 917-407-0378
          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.