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It’s a case of too much of a good thing: A surge in the number of hives in some cities might actually be causing harm to the local honey bee population. According to an article in The Biologist, inexperienced bee keepers, who may not have a clear grasp on the delicate balance between bees and the environment, can create a situation ripe for the spread of contagious diseases and not enough food. And it could actually harm bee populations in the long run.

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Massive bee losses across the planet have raised concerns about maintaining healthy population of bees — after all, without bees there is no food. At the same time, urban beekeeping is more popular than ever. But the trend may actually be doing harm to bee populations.

If there is a huge concentration of bee colonies in one area, as there often is in urban environments with lots of hives, there isn’t enough food to keep all of the insects alive. Crowding can also encourage the spread of parasites or contagious diseases. It’s important to note, however, that bee losses have been attributed to everything from cell phones to pesticide use, so while urban hives may not be helping the situation, they certainly aren’t causing it.

+ The Biologist

via environment 360

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