A study of the possible impact of the western bumble bee if introduced in the wild

Description[ edit ] Western bumblebee workers have three main color variations. They are also marked by black hair segments on the basal section of the fourth abdominal segments have black hair and whitish lower edge of the fourth and fifth abdominal segments. In addition, they also have sparse whitish hairs that may appear black on the sixth abdominal segment, and an entirely black head.

A study of the possible impact of the western bumble bee if introduced in the wild

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution CC-BY license http: This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. These impacts may be positive or negative, and are often unquantified.

In this manuscript, I review literature on the known distribution and environmental and economic impacts of 80 species of introduced bees.

The potential negative impacts of non-native bees include competition with native bees for nesting sites or floral resources, pollination of invasive weeds, co-invasion with pathogens and parasites, genetic introgression, damage to buildings, affecting the pollination of native plant species, and changing the structure of native pollination networks.

The potential positive impacts of non-native bees include agricultural pollination, availability for scientific research, rescue of native species, and resilience to human-mediated disturbance and climate change.

Most non-native bee species are accidentally introduced and nest in stems, twigs, and cavities in wood. In terms of number of species, the best represented families are Megachilidae and Apidae, and the best represented genus is Megachile.

The best studied genera are Apis and Bombus, and most of the species in these genera were deliberately introduced for agricultural pollination. Thus, we know little about the majority of non-native bees, accidentally introduced or spreading beyond their native ranges.

Introduction The accidental introduction of some invasive insects can decimate ecosystems [ 1 ] or cause billions of dollars of environmental [ 2 ], crop [ 3 ], or building damage [ 4 ]. The majority of these insects are not noted for their potential positive impacts.

On the other hand, some insects have been deliberately introduced for the services they provide to humans, without full consideration for their potential negative impacts.

Western Bumble Bee — Extinction

These insects may spread beyond the areas where they have been deliberately introduced and even become invasive pests in some cases [ 5 ]. Bees are one such group of insects, often introduced for their pollination services, but also with the potential to have negative economic and environmental impacts.

Bee species have been both introduced accidentally and deliberately around the world. Perhaps the most well-known of these introduced bee species is the European Honeybee Apis melliferathe most managed bee in the world, but over 70 other species have become established outside of their native ranges.

There is increasing concern about the potential negative effects of these introduced bees, and there have even been efforts to eradicate them in some areas [ 6 ]. However, most attention is focused on the highly abundant and widely introduced species, including A.

Most non-native bee species are accidentally introduced and the potential negative and positive impacts to their introductions have not been explored.

Learning about the potential impacts of introduced bees is particularly important as new species are still being proposed for domestication, and ranges will continue to change naturally and through human transportation.

The purpose of this review is to collate information on all recorded non-native bee species around the world, and to discuss some of the potential outcomes of their introductions.

I reviewed over papers of those papers are cited in this manuscript: Non-Native Bee Species For the purposes of this paper, a non-native species is defined as having one or more populations outside of its historical range. Non-native species can have both negative and positive impacts [ 7 ].

However, because of the widely recognized beneficial impacts of bees, and the fact that they are often deliberately introduced, not all non-native bee species are considered invasive.

A study of the possible impact of the western bumble bee if introduced in the wild

Thus, I will simply refer to them as non-native species here. The literature reviewed by the author included 80 recorded non-native bee species from 30 genera around the world Table 1.

These non-native bees are unevenly distributed among the 7 bee families, suggesting attributes of some bee families might make them more likely to have adventive or invasive species.

Melittidae and Stenotritidae are not represented by any recorded non-native species. The mining bee family, Andrenidae, is only represented by one non-native species Andrena wilkellawhile both Colletidae and Halictidae have 8 non-native representatives.

Indeed, the non-native bees are dominated by representatives of the families Megachilidae 33 non-native species and Apidae 30 non-native speciesthough some of the other families have fewer species overall and are thus less likely to have invasive representatives.

With 13 non-native species, Megachile is the best represented genus. Table 1 A list of non-native bee species around the world, sorted by family and including their probable method of introduction deliberately introduced: A; naturally expanding or shifting range: Nyear of introduction, origin, and known areas of introduction.


This often occurs when the bee fauna of a given area has only recently been studied and in some cases the non-native species has potentially been present for a long time.Bombus occidentalis, the western bumblebee, is one of around 30 bumblebee species present in the western United States and western Canada.

A recent review of all of its close relatives worldwide appears to have confirmed its status as a separate species. COMPETITIVE INTERACTIONS BETWEEN THE INVASIVE EUROPEAN HONEY BEE AND NATIVE BUMBLE BEES. Authors. Impacts on pollen-nectar resources and wild bee communities, Basic and Applied Ecology, , 17, 3, Local bumble bee decline linked to recovery of honey bees, drought effects on floral resources, Ecology Letters.

Bumble bees (Bombus) are vitally important pollinators of wild plants and agricultural crops worldwide. Fragmentary observations, however, have suggested population declines in several North American species.

Despite rising concern over these observations in the United States, highlighted in a. Some scientists consider Bombus occidentalis (the western bumble bee) to be the same species as Bombus terricola Bombus sensu regardbouddhiste.com bees are important pollinators of wild flowering plants and crops.

As generalist foragers, they do not depend on any one flower type. Its actual impact on bumble bee colonies could be severe. The potential impact of the bumble bee on both native and introduced plants is associated with its flower preferences.

The bumble bee is a generalist feeder and has been recorded as feeding on both native and introduced plants, although it is unclear what impact it has on native pollination systems. Nov 28,  · For example, the Galapagos Islands have only one native bee species, but two non-native bee species have been introduced.

In the southwest Pacific islands of Fiji, Samoa, and Vanuatu, there is some evidence to indicate that most, if not all, apid and megachilid bees have been introduced by humans [ 26, 64 ].

Invasive bees in Australia