Support for Solitary Bee Conservation among the Public versus Beekeepers

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© 2019 The Author(s). The decline of European honey bees (Apis mellifera) has been a prominent part of supporting pollinator conservation among the public and conservation efforts, even while honey bees are not native to North America and may compete for resources with native insect pollinators. However, little is known about what distinguishes support for native insect pollinators, including solitary bees, the majority of native bees, which provides use and non-use values distinct from honey bees even though some natives have faced even more precipitous die-offs. Using data collected from the general public and beekeepers in Louisiana, we adopt a contingent valuation method to investigate the value of conserving solitary bees. Results suggest modest to moderate positive willingness to pay for solitary bee conservation, and possibly higher willingness to pay among honey beekeepers versus the general public. Significant heterogeneity exists between the general public and beekeepers in terms of their knowledge and attitudes of honey bees and other pollinators.

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American Journal of Agricultural Economics

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