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Wild pollinators cannot replace honey bees . . .

At least not in the way we’d like. In the past few years a flood of articles has heralded native pollinators as “saviors”—groups of selfless, tireless, seldom-seen gladiators that are going to step in and save our food supply once the honey bees die off. This is a comforting thought, and perhaps one day native […] Read more

Wednesday wordphile: floral fidelity

Although honey bees are polylectic, which means they visit many different species of flowering plants, they also exhibit floral fidelity, which means that a bee visits only one kind of flower on any given foraging trip. If there are enough flowers of one type available, a honey bee will continue to visit that same kind […] Read more

Pollen can carry disease to native bees

While studying pesticides in pollen, I was always curious about the potential for pollen to carry disease organisms as well. Indeed, a new study that appeared in the December 22 PLoS ONE confirmed my worst fears—that pollen may be a major route of viral infection from managed honey bees to wild native bees. The authors […] Read more