About this Research Topic
Pollination is an ecosystem service provided mainly by bees and the pollination crisis caused by the decline of bees is a global concern. In particular, the vanishing of wild bees harms the reproduction of wild plants and crop production. As a result, the majority of terrestrial ecosystems and many agricultural plants depend on their conservation. Despite the global effort to understand and mitigate bees lost, the causes and consequences of wild bees’ reduction are still a controversial debate.
Recent studies demonstrated that the implementation of conservation strategies for wild bees cannot be based on honey bees’ data. In addition, diverse groups of wild bees evolved in specific biomes, and therefore are adapted to pollinate different plants. These ecological specificities claim the necessity to improve our knowledge about how the decline of wild bees interferes on crop production and conservation of wild ecosystems.
The lack of information about the susceptibility of wild bees to environmental stressors hampers the implementation of strategies and public politics aiming at their conservation. Many wild bees are keystone species, making it imperative to investigate the causes of their decline and the costs of this process. Why are populations of wild bees’ declining? What are the causes of this decline? Which are the main stressors that harm wild bees in natural and anthropized environments? Are wild bees more susceptible than honey bees to environmental stressors? Which are the consequences of wild bees’ decline? Answering such kinds of questions will help governments and stakeholders to improve the effectiveness of conservation actions of these important global pollinators.
The scope of this Research Topic is to publish original contributions, brief research reports, theoretical articles, reviews, mini-reviews, methods, perspectives, and data reports about how anthropogenic disturbance contributes to wild bee decline worldwide. Our aim is to include papers about the effects of biotic and abiotic stressors on bees, such as agrochemical use, deforestation, climate changes, transgenic plants, diseases and pathogens, and different types of pollution (e.g. electromagnetic fields, gas emissions, plastic contamination, water pollution).
We also encourage manuscripts about the consequences of population reductions of bumblebees, stingless bees, and non-eusocial bees. Moreover, we welcome publications conducted with feral honey bees in natural biomes. In particular, we invite authors to publish papers about the interaction among environmental stressors, bees’ decline, and the environmental and economic costs of this process. Finally, contributions about the role of wild bees on pollination, crop production, and restoration ecology strategies can also be published.
Keywords: Bees Decline, Environmental Stressors, Native Pollinators, Pollinator Conservation, Risk Assessment
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.