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Proceedings Tall Timbers Conference on Ecological Animal Control by Habitat Management



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The North American Bee Fauna is composed of over 5,000 species, most of which are nonsocial and make nest burrows in the soil. About 500 species nest above ground in small cavities such as beetle holes, hollow stems and rock pockets or dig their own tunnels in pithy stems or wood. Also, about 100 social species (bumble bees, stingless bees, and the honey bee) establish their colonies in relatively large cavities, both below and above ground.

The honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) was brought to the New World by European colonists. Consequently, on this continent, it had no influence on the long evolutionary cooperation between plants and their pollinators. About 10 other species of bees, all of them solitary, have been established accidently in North America, but only one, the alfalfa leafcutter bee, has become abundant enough to have a noticeable impact on the native bee fauna or to significantly affect the pollination of crops.

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