Loss of bumblebees is a loss to farmers.

Published online
23 Jul 2020
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This paper summarizes the results of a study conducted in Argentina, which introduced honeybee (Apis mellifera) hives and colonies of the native black bumblebee (Bombus pauloensis) into apple orchards embedded within the historical distribution range of this bumblebee species, but where it has disappeared recently. The study compared crop yield in farms hosting both species (honeybees and bumblebees) with farms hosting only honeybees. The results showed that apple trees located on orchards missing the native black bumblebees produced just half the quantity of apples produced by trees located on orchards hosting both honeybees and bumblebees. This meant a reduction of more than 50% of the profits for farmers. The results indicate that the loss of just one key pollinator species causes a significant reduction in apple production and the economic profit for local farmers.

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