If you haven’t heard, the world is going through a bit of a honey bee crisis right now. Shortages of these little yellow working insects are being noticed and can be attributed to mankind’s use of insecticides and destruction of their natural habitats.
Honey bees are important for pollinating our plants and for producing honey, and it would seem that even Scotland is going through its own bee hardships.
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As beekeeping becomes a more popular activity there, it would seem that Scotland’s citizens are importing a growing number of non-native bee species to the region in order to harvest honey, and doing so is endangering the well-being of Scotland’s native honey bee populations.
The problem isn’t that the imported bees are harmful to the native honey bees, but rather that they are crossbreeding with the native populations.
When this happens, the amount of pure native bee DNA in the wild becomes overwhelmed by the amount of DNA from mixed bee breeds, which means that someday, it may be very hard to find a wild honey bee whose DNA tells the story of being 100% native to Scotland.
Attempts are being made to not only raise awareness to the public, but also to urge the native government to enact measures that will protect the species from being overwhelmed by imported bee species.
Related: Can we save the bees?
While a solution isn’t set in stone just yet, the obvious answer is to start by putting a cap on the importing of non-native bee species to Scotland. Such might be an important role in preserving the native bee populations so that beekeepers in the region can continue to utilize native bee populations rather than mixed bee populations.
One thing that is certain is that to make a difference, officials will have to act fast before any more damage to the native honey bee populations can be caused.