Native bees and plant pollination

Rhode Island Naturalist


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Bees are important pollinators, but evidence suggests that numbers of some species are declining. Decreases have been documented in the honey bee, Apis mellifera (which was introduced to North America), but there are no monitoring programs for the vast majority of native species, so we cannot be sure about the extent of this problem. Recent efforts to develop standardized protocols for bee sampling will help us collect the data needed to assess trends in bee populations. Unfortunately, diversity of bee life cycles and phenologies, and the large number of rare species, make it difficult to assess trends in bee faunas. Changes in bee populations can affect plant reproduction, which can influence plant population density and cover, thus potentially modifying horizontal and vertical structure of a community, microclimate near the ground, patterns of nitrogen deposition, etc. These potential effects of changes in pollination patterns have not been assessed in natural communities. Effects of management actions on bees and other pollinators should be considered in conservation planning.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Native bees and plant pollination
Series title Rhode Island Naturalist
Volume 11
Issue 1
Year Published 2004
Language English
Contributing office(s) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description 1-3
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Rhode Island Naturalist
First page 1
Last page 3