Wild pollinator activity negatively related to honey bee colony densities in urban context

Abstract : As pollinator decline is increasingly reported in natural and agricultural environments, cities are perceived as shelters for pollinators because of low pesticide exposure and high floral diversity throughout the year. This has led to the development of environmental policies supporting pollinators in urban areas. However, policies are often restricted to the promotion of honey bee colony installations, which resulted in a strong increase in apiary numbers in cities. Recently, competition for floral resources between wild pollinators and honey bees has been highlighted in semi-natural contexts, but whether urban beekeeping could impact wild pollinators remains unknown. Here, we show that in the city of Paris (France), wild pollinator visitation rates are negatively correlated to honey bee colony densities present in the surrounding landscape (500m-slope =-0.614; p = 0.001-and 1000m-slope =-0.489; p = 0.005). Regarding the morphological groups of wild pollinators, large solitary bee and beetle visitation rates were negatively affected by honey bee colony densities within a 500m buffer (slope =-0.425, p = 0.007 and slope =-0.671, p = 0.002, respectively) and bumblebee visi-tation rates were negatively affected by honey bee colony density within a 1000m buffer (slope =-0.451, p = 0.012). Further, lower interaction evenness in plant-pollinator networks was observed with high honey bee colony density within a 1000m buffer (slope =-0.487, p = 0.008). Finally, honey bees tended to focus their foraging activity on managed rather than wild plant species (student t-test, p = 0.001) whereas wild pollinators equally visited managed and wild species. We advocate responsible practices mitigating the introduction of high density of honey bee colonies in urban environments. Further studies are however needed to deepen our knowledge about the potential negative interactions between wild and domesticated pollinators.
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Lise Ropars, Isabelle Dajoz, Colin Fontaine, Audrey Muratet, Benoit Geslin. Wild pollinator activity negatively related to honey bee colony densities in urban context. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2019, 14 (9), pp.e0222316. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0222316⟩. ⟨hal-02289221⟩

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