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The Truth about Honey Bees! 😧🐝

How Honey Bees are an Invasive Species

Once upon a time, there was an exotic species with a prominent presence in the animal kingdom. This species was the honey bee, Apis mellifera, a small insect with an unbounded capacity for destruction.

The honey bee was introduced to North America beginning in the early 1600s. Native to Europe and parts of Africa, the honey bee was believed to have been brought to the continent on the back of ships from the Old World. Once released, the honey bee began to spread out across the continent and eventually established itself as an invasive species.

It wasn't until the 1900s that scientists began to recognize the honey bee as an invasive species. As the honey bee continued to spread, its presence began to affect North America's native pollinators. The smaller native pollinators were being outcompeted by the larger, more aggressive honey bee in many areas. This competition led to the decline of native pollinator species, such as the bumble bee, and would later be linked to a drop in crop yields.

The presence of the honey bee was also causing other problems, such as Africanized honey bees, which are more aggressive and pose a risk to humans. Furthermore, the honey bee is a prolific nectar thief, stealing food from native flowers in environments where it has become well-established. This can cause stress to native plant species, contributing to declines in native ecosystems.

In recent years, scientists have been experimenting with ways to control the honey bee's growth and limit its impact on native ecosystems. To date, however, the honey bee remains one of the most widespread and destructive invasive species in North America.

Despite its many negatives, the honey bee does have an important role in North America's agricultural industry. It is an important pollinator of certain commercial crops, and has a long history of providing honey and other products to humans. Fortunately, with proper management and public awareness, the honey bee's impact can be minimized and its benefits enjoyed.

- Mike Sexton "Da Beeman"


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