The rise in amateur beekeepers keeping hives on roofs and gardens is contributing to the decline of wild bees, Cambridge University has claimed.
Experts at the Department of Zoology said the growth in urban keeping was leaving wild bees struggling to gather enough pollen and nectar.
Urban beekeeping has flourished in recent years, with many museums, charities and businesses creating colonies on their roofs.
“Keeping honeybees is an extractive activity. It removes pollen and nectar from the environment, which are natural resources needed by many wild species of bee and other pollinators,” said González-Varo, also Cambridge’s Zoology Department.
“Honeybees are artificially-bred agricultural animals similar to livestock such as pigs and cows. But this livestock can roam beyond any enclosures to disrupt local ecosystems through competition and disease.”
The conservationists argue there is a “lack of distinction” in public understanding – fuelled by misguided charity campaigns - between an agricultural problem and an urgent biodiversity issue.