In a recent issue of the journal Science, Dave Goulson and colleagues presented a review entitled “Bee declines driven by combined stress from parasites, pesticides, and lack of flowers”. This stimulated Jaboury Ghazoul to submit a letter to Science criticising the Goulson et al. paper from a number of perspectives, but particularly the paucity of the evidence base for pollinator declines. Dave and his co-authors robustly responded to that letter, as you might imagine. In some respects this was an unsatisfactory exchange, however, as the focus was largely on agricultural pollinators, rather than pollinators of all plants (including the majority non-cultivated species) and I think that (perhaps with more space?) Dave could have outlined the evidence in more depth.
The most striking statement in Jaboury’s letter was that the “evidence for pollinator declines is almost entirely confined to honeybees and bumblebees in Europe and North America”.
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