Lynn V Dicks, David A Showler, William J Sutherland
2010 139 pages (D935)
This book provides readers with fast access to research evidence of the effects of interventions that aim to contribute to bee conservation. It emphasises the need for research work that is evidence based and can be captured in studies such as this, to provide the scientific information that is crucial for decision making. Most of the text considers interventions for bee species other than honey bees, and for consideration of these non-Apis species, this is a very useful tool giving rapid access to a useful aggregation of current research findings and status. Readers of BfDJ might expect to find mention of beekeeping activities towards conserving bees and their habitats. Unfortunately the authors decided not to consider the literature on, in their words, ‘the largely domesticated honey bee Apis mellifera’ and go on to mention that ‘it is seldom the native subspecies that is being kept’.
What does ‘largely domesticated’ mean? This is a non-scientific partition. Honey bee populations maintained by beekeepers have consequences for conservation of honey bee species, as well as other species. There is great need to ensure conservation of populations of indigenous races and species of honey bees and many beekeepers are much concerned with this. Even if nesting inside man made hives, honey bees are living and foraging in the wild, and cannot be discounted from scientific consideration because of genetic impurity.