Re: Articles on the effectiveness of honey bee pollination?
I don't know if there are studys and reports available, but, keep in mind that in every colony of bees there are "renegade bees" or "rebel bees" which go where no other bee goes so when the predominant source of pollen, nectar, water, or propolis runs dry the colony has another source. These renegade or rebel bees do the incidental pollination needed to move pollen around in a garden plot. Though, if you could mark the bees found on tomatoes, you might find them only working the tomatoes.
I took twoo hundred colonys of bees to a Blueberry Grower w/ about 160 acres of blueberries, this Spring. He talked w/ me about the bumblebees he had in the past and the native pollinators that live nearby. He knows and understands the role plkayed by all of the bees and sees managed colonys of honeybees as extra insurance of a good, well pollinated, crop of blueberries.
So, my point is, that keeping a hive or two of honeybees in or near a garden will help suppliment the native pollinators and help produce better looking vegetables, more usable vegetables.
Honeybees don't make a crop, they make the crop better. Sweeter fruit. More lbs to the square foot.
If one sets a yd of bees in an orange grove, one can tell how far away from the hives the yd foraged because of the drop off in sugar content in the oranges. According to what an orange grower in FL told me once. So, I imagine that follows w/ other crops as well.
Mark Berninghausen "To float, upheld, as salt water would hold you, once you dared." Denise Levertov, poet