A honey bee visits a white sage plant. Researchers have shown that pollination by honey bees, which are not native to the Americas, produces offspring of considerably inferior quality (lower fitness) than offspring resulting from native pollinators.

Plants pollinated by honey bees produce lower-quality offspring

Researchers from UC San Diego have found that honey bees, which are non-native to the Americas, produce plant offspring of lower quality compared to native pollinators in the San Diego region. Honey bees tend to visit more flowers on a single plant, leading to self-pollination and reduced fitness of the resulting plant offspring. This study highlights the importance of native pollinators for the preservation of native plant species in the face of invasive plant species and emphasizes the need for conservation efforts focused on native plants and bees.