Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

The conservation of native honey bees is crucial.

Abstract

Recent studies have emphasized the role of the western honey bee, Apis mellifera, as a managed agricultural species worldwide, but also as a potential threat to endangered wild pollinators. This has resulted in the suggestion that honey bees should be regulated in natural areas to conserve wild pollinators. We argue that this perspective fails to appreciate the multifaceted nature of honey bees as native or introduced species with either managed or wild colonies. Wild populations of A. mellifera are currently imperiled, and natural areas are critical for the conservation of local subspecies and genotypes. We propose that a differentiation between managed and wild populations is required and encourage integrated conservation planning for all endangered wild bees, including A. mellifera.