Looking Beyond Honeybees

Read/listen to the full story from Science Friday.

There are two kinds of bees in this world. First, there are the domestic, managed bees that commercial beekeepers transport by the truckload to pollinate fruit trees, almonds, and other crops around the country. Most of the honey we eat comes from those domestic honeybees.

But wild pollinators, including wild bees, are also out busily collecting pollen and fertilizing flowers. Some are tiny. Some are solitary. And they seem to benefit from efforts to save domestic bees from pesticides and other health hazards linked to colony collapse disorder.

But are more domestic honeybees and bumblebees always good for wild ones?

According to Rachel Mallinger, a pollinator ecologist at the University of Florida, too many domestic bees seem to cause problems for their wild kin. She joins Ira to discuss.

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