Evidence for competition between honeybees and bumblebees; effects on bumblebee worker size

Goulson, David and Sparrow, Kate R (2009) Evidence for competition between honeybees and bumblebees; effects on bumblebee worker size. Journal of Insect Conservation, 13 (2). pp. 177-181. ISSN 1366-638X

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Abstract

Numerous studies suggest that honeybees may compete with native pollinators where introduced as non-native insects. Here we examine evidence for competition between honeybees and four bumblebee species in Scotland, a region that may be within the natural range of honeybees, but where domestication greatly increases the honeybee population. We examined mean thorax widths (a reliable measure of body size) of workers of Bombus pascuorum, B. lucorum, B. lapidarius and B. terrestris at sites with and without honeybees. Workers of all four species were significantly smaller in areas with honeybees. We suggest that reduced worker size is likely to have implications for bumblebee colony success. These results imply that, for conservation purposes, some restrictions should be considered with regard to placing honeybee hives in or near areas where populations of rare bumblebee species persist. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Evolution, Behaviour and Environment
Depositing User: Catrina Hey
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2014 13:42
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2014 13:42
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/51208
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