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Is beekeeping good for wildlife?

Tonight Monty introduced 10,000 highly efficient non native pollen and nectar collectors to his garden.  Surely the native bumble bees, solitary bees and other pollen/nectar feeding insects will suffer badly.  They cannot compete against the military like organisation of a swarm of honey bees.

Over the last few years we have not had honey bees in our garden and the number of bumble bees we see seems to have increased.

If we introduced any other non native creature in their thousands it would harm the ecosystem.  Why are honey bees different?  I can see the logic in commercial fruit growing areas  but not in gardens or the countryside.

Posts

  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,299

    I watched this, Did they say they were non-native, I didnt hear that.  We have Honey bees visiting our garden, I even saw (and photographed) Bumble bees in the winter!  Have read several times that the bee population in general is on the decline.   My Son said I should think about getting my own hive.  Used to have chicken, trying to persuede Hubby to have some more.  Think I would bee (geddit!!) terrified to have my own hive

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,254

    I don't think there is any likelihood of there being competition between honey and wild bees. For a start, flowers have different shapes and some bees are too small or too large to pollinate them. My raspberries are always visited by very small bumblebees but hardly ever by the large ones. The large bumblebees go to the foxglove flowers because they can reach the nectar that is unreachable for the small ones. Honey bees have tongues that are middle size, which makes them suitable for pollinating a wide range of flowers, but not all.

    Secondly, flowers produce nectar in a more or less constant stream. They don't just have enough for one bee. And bumblebees fly at much lower temperatures than honey bees so they have the advantage there.

    My father kept bees in our suburban garden for most of the year and moved them to the heather on the moors a few miles away every August. I was never stung, I don't think. I was told to keep away and I was a very obedient child. I would agree though that it is probably not a good idea to keep them in a very densely populated area. People these days are too quick to blame others for things that go wrong. 

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Outdoor girlOutdoor girl Posts: 286

    Dave, this might help. 

    http://www.ibra.org.uk/articles/20081124_4 

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