Thursday, March 7, 2013
Honeybees help Native Bees
Here's another study I wish I'd known about before publishing my book. To summaries, conservationists hate honeybees because they move in, and take all the resources from native bees (pollen, nectar, and cavity nesting space). But it seems after they initially move in they still pollinate the plants adequately enough to produce more nectar plants. I had noted that honeybees don't bother with young trees, unless they're all grown together as in an orchard, and its these that most of our native bees work. Now they eventually go on to become bigger trees that get honeybee attention, but I think it still evens out somewhat. Young trees are still being produced and coming of age to flower.
Now this story is on a tropical forest setting that's constantly recycling itself. In a suburban setting this isn't happening enough, and when it is, it's often a landowner or landscaper, who wants to plant something more for beauty and often the country of origin isn't considered. The pollen to alien plants is often lacking in nutritional quality or even toxic for native species. The pollen and nectar resources that landscaping around strip malls and suburban neighborhoods produce is a pittance compared to the forest or prairie that once grew there.