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Bee Pollination in Agricultural Ecosystems$
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Rosalind James and Theresa L. Pitts-Singer

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195316957

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195316957.001.0001

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Crop Pollination Services From Wild Bees

Crop Pollination Services From Wild Bees

(p.10) 2 Crop Pollination Services From Wild Bees
Bee Pollination in Agricultural Ecosystems

Claire Kremen

Oxford University Press

Historically, farmers obtained pollination services from wild, unmanaged bees or made habitat modifications to attract them. Today, agriculture demands the use of managed bees, usually honey bees, although their availability is becoming uncertain due to diseases, pests, and other unknown causes of mortality. This chapter addresses the roles that wild bees play in agriculture today, and what roles they could play in the future. Research has shown that in some circumstances, wild bees can partially or fully replace managed bees or actually enhance their effectiveness as pollinators. Land use changes and habitat loss impact wild bee communities and their ability to provide pollination services within agricultural systems, and agricultural intensification can affect wild bee diversity and abundance in both positive and negative ways. The economic value of wild bee services is discussed, and the ways in which agricultural lands can be managed to restore healthy communities of wild bees.

Keywords:   unmanaged bees, pollination services, agricultural intensification, habitat loss, bee diversity, bee abundance

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