25 March 2014

Honeybees are NOT native to North America

"If the honeybee is a victim of natural menaces like viruses and unnatural ones like pesticides, it's worth remembering that the bee itself is not a natural resident of the continent.  It was imported to North America in the 17th century, and it thrived until recently because it found a perfect niche in a food system that demands crops at ever cheaper prices and in ever greater quantities.  That's a man-made mercantile ecosystem that not only has been good for the bees and beekeepers but also has meant steady business and big revenue for supermarkets and grocery stores."
From an article in the August 19, 2013 issue of Time magazine.  You learn something every day.

Photo credit Ken Thomas, via Wikipedia.


  1. The thousands of acres of mono-crops planted, are dependent upon the once imported honey bee for pollination. California's almond crop is 100% dependent. All other plants in these areas, including all the once native pollinators, have been killed out in order to plant these giant farms growing crops like wheat, soy, and corn. To mention a couple.

  2. UC Berkley has a lab aiming to integrate California-native bee species (there are a lot of them) into the state's massive farming practices. Their website is interesting reading: http://www.helpabee.org/farming-for-native-bees.html

  3. I guess the honey bee was one very successful non-native creature, unlike so many other invasive species.

  4. MuddyValley - Almonds, wheat, soy, and even maize (a native of south America) are just as invasive to North America as the honeybee.

    Barbwire - Many invasive species such as kudzu, apples, garlic mustard, white mulberry, etc have been extremely successful in their new environment.

    The western honeybee (apis melliferahas) has driven out any number of the stingless bee species previously native to the Americas.


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