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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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Environmental Impact of Exotic Bees Introduced for Crop Pollination

Environmental Impact of Exotic Bees Introduced for Crop Pollination

(p.145) 9 Environmental Impact of Exotic Bees Introduced for Crop Pollination
Bee Pollination in Agricultural Ecosystems

Carlos H. Vergara

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews currently available information on the success of introduced pollinators, their effects on native ecosystems, and examines the viability of using native pollinators to prevent unnecessary introductions of exotic species. Exotic species of bees have been introduced to different countries as crop pollinators. Well-known examples are the alfalfa leafcutting bee (Megachile rotundata) and several species of bumble bees (Bombus spp.). In most cases, these imports have been done without prior assessment of possible negative impacts of the pollinators on native ecosystems. Other species have been accidentally introduced, or introduced for purposes other than pollination of crops. The best known of such introductions is the African honey bee, imported to Brazil in the 1950s. African honey bees (Apis mellifera scutellata) have become important pollinators of crops like coffee or avocado in tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas.

Keywords:   introduced crop pollinators, native pollinators, exotic bees, alfalfa leafcutting bee, bumble bees, African honey bee

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