News News

Honeybee colonies have increased exponentially in the Mediterranean Basin

Evidence for pollinator declines largely originates from mid-latitude regions in North America and Europe. Geographical heterogeneity in pollinator trends combined with geographical biases in pollinator studies can produce distorted extrapolations and limit understanding of pollinator responses to environmental changes. In contrast with the declines experienced in some well-investigated European and North American regions, honeybees seem to have increased recently in some areas of the Mediterranean Basin. The Mediterranean Basin is home to approximately 3300 wild bee species, or approximately 87% of those occurring in the whole western Palaearctic region. Because honeybees can have negative impacts on wild bees, it was hypothesized that a biome-wide alteration in bee pollinator assemblages may be underway in the Mediterranean Basin involving a reduction in the relative number of wild bees. This hypothesis was tested using published quantitative data on bee pollinators of wild and cultivated plants from studies conducted between 1963 and 2017 in 13 countries from the European, African and Asian shores of the Mediterranean Sea. The density of honeybee colonies increased exponentially and wild bees were gradually replaced by honeybees in flowers of wild and cultivated plants. The proportion of wild bees at flowers was four times greater than that of honeybees at the beginning of the period, the proportions of both groups becoming roughly similar 50 years later. The Mediterranean Basin is a world biodiversity hotspot for wild bees and wild bee-pollinated plants, and the ubiquitous rise of honeybees to dominance as pollinators could in the long run undermine the diversity of plants and wild bees in the region. informacion[at] Herrera (2020) Gradual replacement of wild bees by honeybees in flowers of the Mediterranean Basin over the last 50 years. Proc Royal Society B 287(1921). Doi 10.1098/rspb.2019.2657
Average (0 Votes)

Latest News Latest News

Razones para el sedentarismo

Las aves terrestres longevas y de gran tamaño muestran típicamente un comportamiento sedentario en las islas, incluso cuando son migratorias en el continente. La variación denso-dependiente de la...

Coexistence between sympatric carnivores in a Mediterranean habitat

One of the main objectives of community ecology is to understand the conditions allowing species to coexist. However, few studies have investigated the role of fine-scale habitat use segregation in...

Artificial lights and seabirds: is light pollution a threat for the threatened Balearic petrels?

Petrels are among the most threatened group of birds. On top of facing predation by introduced mammals and incidental bycatch, these seabirds have to deal with an emerging threat, light pollution.

The role of disease and parasite infections in protected populations of rhinoceros

A huge effort in rhinoceros conservation has focused on poaching and habitat loss as factors leading to the dramatic declines in the endangered eastern black rhinoceros and the southern white...

Population differentiation between natural and human-managed areas

Landscape change induced by humans can alter the environmental conditions and thus promote unusually rapid evolutionary changes and/or at remarkably small spatial scales. In a managed property and...