Dr. Jonas Geldmann, a member of the University of Cambridge, explained recently that honeybee hives are potentially harming the environment since the artificially raised number of honeybees is setting back the chances for wild species to survive.

Dr. Marla Spivak, a member of the University of Minnesota, claims that honeybees could be the portal to much larger and dangerous issues, regarding conservation.

Honeybee hives endanger wild bee species, Honeybee conservation, Small green bees
The study claims honeybee hives are endangering other wild pollinator species. Image credit: HoneyColony

Dr. Spivak adds that she does not want to prioritize a kind of bee above another, but currently, the honeybees are not the ones that need help, but the small green bees that hide in the ground or strange cavities.

The Honeybee: A symbol of environmental conservation

“News stories often view honey bee losses through the lens of environmental concern.”

Dr. Geldmann wrote an article that was published by Science Magazine, in which he explains his study about this arising conflict. In his “Conserving Honey Bees Does Not Help Wildlife,” he declares that he understands the widespread concern about the decline of pollinators that are important for global food security. But he does not trust nor likes the matter focused on the western honeybee.

As Dr. Geldmann references the rapid global growth in managed colony numbers, he also addresses the remarkable source of income that honey production represents, specifically in rural communities.

This all leads to a promotion of honeybees in areas far from agriculture, which he claims are masked as conservation. His worrying increases thanks to the considerable attention that the decline in managed honeybees gets because of the media.

The study clarifies that there are pollinators other than honeybees and that the absence of discrimination between decays of wild pollinators and the dilemma of an artificial highly distributed, agricultural species reduces the attempts of conserving globally threatened wild pollinator species.

Honeybee hives endanger wild bee species, Honeybee conservation, Small green bees
Small green bees are partly endangered because of honeybees. Image credit: Clay Bolt

Additionally, honeybees, are incredibly competitive for pollinating flowers since they represent a more significant group regarding quantity. Also, they spread disease along the flowers they pollinate, infecting the wild bees, lowering their statistics.

Is not an ecosystem service, is an agrarian activity

In the study, Dr. Gellmann describes a significant issue that’s related to half of the European bees being endangered, and that the conservation of wild natives pollinators should get a more substantial consideration since it represents a bigger challenge.

The distress this issue causes to these worrying scientists makes them seek for strategies that focus their conservational approaches on actual environmental concerns related to wild bees. Combining it with the need of fewer honeybees hives, with a smaller size.

Finally, Dr. Geldmann explains that honeybees shouldn’t be in protected areas where they can do greater harm to wild bees since now the artificially increased number is a matter of capitalizing an ideal that’s not entirely legitimate. He declares:

“Beekeeping is an agrarian activity that should not be confused with wildlife conservation.”

Source: Science Daily