The world is full of the woes of the Honey Bees and the woes this will bring humanity, poor us. Solitary and semi-social bees have been suffering at the tarsi of human-mediated honey bee populations for longer than we know, I remember reading an article twenty odd years ago on the effects increased honey bee farming was having in parts of Australia previously free from honey bees, at least at the commercial level. Obviously honey bees have been in Europe for so long we cannot se as clearly their effect on other bee populations, at least not the original populations. But it seems to me that CCD may be giving other bee species a reprieve from the heavy handed competition of honey bees trucked into areas by the hundreds of hives once the flowwering season starts. But I do not have access to any modern literature, so I wonder, has anybody been monitoring the populations of any species of solitary bees in Europe through the last few decades sufficiently closely to observe a response to, or the lack of, the declining honey bee populations. I await the expert opinions.
I will leave you with a mediocre sonnet, written by myself of course.
I could not be a worker honey bee,
for all the joy that making honey brings;
that servile dance, those self-destructive stings,
that over-crowded domesticity.
A solitary bee works just as hard
provisioning each precious hidden cell
wherein a single egg, then grub, will dwell.
I know her calm idyll is often marred
by thieves and parasites that steal her hoard,
devour her egg and occupy its home,
but gen’rally she knows it is her own
descendents who enjoy the wealth she’s stored.
Her portion may be small and plain, but then
her riches are not lusted for by men.