Abstract Detail

Reproductive Processes

Ayre, Bronwyn [1], Krauss, Siegy [2].

Impact of introduced western honeybees on native plants.

The Western honeybee, Apis mellifera, has been spread around the world for their role in crop pollination and for honey production. They are now present on every continent except Antarctica in both feral and managed hives. Debate still occurs on the impact introduced honeybees have on native ecosystems and how we should manage commercial and feral honeybees in protected areas. While the impact of introduced honeybees on native insects is frequently reviewed, their impact on native plant pollination can be overlooked. After completing a systematic review of published papers, reports, and theses, we have identified 67 plant species where the direct impact of honeybee foraging has been assessed. Globally, honeybee foraging has potentially negative effects (decreased fruit set, seed production, outcrossing rates and increased nectar/pollen theft) in 48% of species, potentially positive effects (increased fruit and seed set, increased outcrossing rates and higher pollen deposition) in 40% of species, and no or neutral impacts in 12% of species. Flower size is likely one important driver of honeybee impact, with a higher incidence of negative effects seen in species with smaller flowers, compared to those with larger flowers. Given the near 50% incidence of negative impacts among the low number of plant species assessed, there is a need for a greater understanding on the short- and long-term impacts of introduced honeybee foraging on native plants.

1 - Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, Kings Park Science, Kattidj Close, Perth, WA, 6005
2 - University of Western Australia, School of Biological Sciences, 35 Stirling Highway, Perth, WA, 6009, Australia

none specified

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: REP2, Reproductive Processes 2
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Wednesday, July 29th, 2020
Time: 2:15 PM
Number: REP2008
Abstract ID:554
Candidate for Awards:None

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