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Evidence for competition between honeybees and bumblebees; effects on bumblebee worker size
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-08, 18:58 authored by Dave GoulsonDave Goulson, Kate R Sparrow
Numerous studies suggest that honeybees may compete with native pollinators where introduced as non-native insects. Here we examine evidence for competition between honeybees and four bumblebee species in Scotland, a region that may be within the natural range of honeybees, but where domestication greatly increases the honeybee population. We examined mean thorax widths (a reliable measure of body size) of workers of Bombus pascuorum, B. lucorum, B. lapidarius and B. terrestris at sites with and without honeybees. Workers of all four species were significantly smaller in areas with honeybees. We suggest that reduced worker size is likely to have implications for bumblebee colony success. These results imply that, for conservation purposes, some restrictions should be considered with regard to placing honeybee hives in or near areas where populations of rare bumblebee species persist. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008.
JournalJournal of Insect Conservation
Department affiliated with
- Evolution, Behaviour and Environment Publications
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