By Paul Erdmann, Bush Lake Chapter Conservation Director
Most of us know that pollinators need our help. Starting a honeybee hive is not the answer!
What’s the issue?
Honeybees are not native to North America, they were introduced from Europe. They are now one of the most abundant and widespread insects on Earth. Honeybee populations have increased 45% worldwide over the last 50 years and there is no risk of this bee species going extinct. Honeybees are important pollinators of agricultural crops but do not belong in areas providing critical habitat for native bees and other pollinators.
What’s wrong with honeybees in natural areas?
- Honey bees compete with native pollinators for floral resources (food)
- Honey bees may spread disease and parasites to our native insects
- Honey bees prefer non-native plants and can contribute to the spread of invasive plants
- Honey bees can interfere with the reproduction of native plants
Want to help bees? Plant native plants and create habitat! This will help our native bees and honeybees!
Our native bees and other pollinators (butterflies, moths, flies, and other insects) are in severe decline. Habitat loss, overuse of pesticides, industrial agriculture, and the loss of flowering plants have all contributed to this loss. By introducing honeybees, we add another stressor to our native bees that can have negative consequences. Help get the word out about native bees and their critical interdependent relationship with the natural world. All bees need adequate habitat that includes flowering plants. Introducing more populations of non-native bees when food is already scarce is counterproductive and has little to do with native pollinator conservation. Please, for the bees- think twice about introducing honeybees!
Spread the word! Check out this factsheet!
For further reading, go to: https://www.insidescience.org/news/how-bees-you-know-are-killing-bees-you-don’t