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Experimental evidence that honeybees depress wild insect densities in a flowering crop

Lindström, Sandra A M LU ; Herbertsson, Lina LU ; Rundlöf, Maj LU ; Bommarco, Riccardo LU and Smith, Henrik G. LU (2016) In Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 283(1843).
Abstract

While addition of managed honeybees (Apis mellifera) improves pollination of many entomophilous crops, it is unknown if it simultaneously suppresses the densities of wild insects through competition. To investigate this, we added 624 honeybee hives to 23 fields of oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) over 2 years and made sure that the areas around 21 other fields were free from honeybee hives. We demonstrate that honeybee addition depresses the densities of wild insects (bumblebees, solitary bees, hoverflies, marchflies, other flies, and other flying and flower-visiting insects) even in a massive flower resource such as oilseed rape. The effect was independent of the complexity of the surrounding landscape, but increased with the size of... (More)

While addition of managed honeybees (Apis mellifera) improves pollination of many entomophilous crops, it is unknown if it simultaneously suppresses the densities of wild insects through competition. To investigate this, we added 624 honeybee hives to 23 fields of oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) over 2 years and made sure that the areas around 21 other fields were free from honeybee hives. We demonstrate that honeybee addition depresses the densities of wild insects (bumblebees, solitary bees, hoverflies, marchflies, other flies, and other flying and flower-visiting insects) even in a massive flower resource such as oilseed rape. The effect was independent of the complexity of the surrounding landscape, but increased with the size of the crop field, which suggests that the effect was caused by spatial displacement of wild insects. Our results have potential implications both for the pollination of crops (if displacement of wild pollinators offsets benefits achieved by adding honeybees) and for conservation of wild insects (if displacement results in negative fitness consequences).

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Crop pollinators, Flies, Interspecific competition, Oilseed rape, Wild bees
in
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
volume
283
issue
1843
publisher
Royal Society
external identifiers
  • scopus:85001022586
  • wos:000390349900008
ISSN
0962-8452
DOI
10.1098/rspb.2016.1641
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
12fd887d-d768-4355-b2e8-a4d56353d65e
date added to LUP
2016-12-28 14:13:51
date last changed
2017-09-18 11:33:48
@article{12fd887d-d768-4355-b2e8-a4d56353d65e,
  abstract     = {<p>While addition of managed honeybees (Apis mellifera) improves pollination of many entomophilous crops, it is unknown if it simultaneously suppresses the densities of wild insects through competition. To investigate this, we added 624 honeybee hives to 23 fields of oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) over 2 years and made sure that the areas around 21 other fields were free from honeybee hives. We demonstrate that honeybee addition depresses the densities of wild insects (bumblebees, solitary bees, hoverflies, marchflies, other flies, and other flying and flower-visiting insects) even in a massive flower resource such as oilseed rape. The effect was independent of the complexity of the surrounding landscape, but increased with the size of the crop field, which suggests that the effect was caused by spatial displacement of wild insects. Our results have potential implications both for the pollination of crops (if displacement of wild pollinators offsets benefits achieved by adding honeybees) and for conservation of wild insects (if displacement results in negative fitness consequences).</p>},
  articleno    = {20161641},
  author       = {Lindström, Sandra A M and Herbertsson, Lina and Rundlöf, Maj and Bommarco, Riccardo and Smith, Henrik G.},
  issn         = {0962-8452},
  keyword      = {Crop pollinators,Flies,Interspecific competition,Oilseed rape,Wild bees},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {11},
  number       = {1843},
  publisher    = {Royal Society},
  series       = {Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences},
  title        = {Experimental evidence that honeybees depress wild insect densities in a flowering crop},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2016.1641},
  volume       = {283},
  year         = {2016},
}