World's Fair

Bees are dying: who cares?

This is an article from the Christian Science Monitor: “What’s happening to the bees?: Suddenly, the bees farmers and growers rely on are vanishing. Researchers are scrambling to find out why.” Worth a read.


Here’s why we might care:

While staple crops like wheat and corn are pollinated by wind, some 90 cultivated flowering crops – from almonds and apples to cranberries and watermelons – rely heavily on honeybees trucked in for pollinization. Honeybees pollinate every third bite of food ingested by Americans, says a Cornell study.

Here’s why it’s happening:

For many entomologists, the bee crisis is a wake-up call. By relying on a single species for pollination, US agriculture has put itself in a precarious position, they say. A resilient agricultural system requires diverse pollinators. This speaks to a larger conservation issue. Some evidence indicates a decline in the estimated 4,500 potential alternate pollinators – native species of butterflies, wasps. and other bees. The blame for that sits squarely on human activity – habitat loss, pesticide use, and imported disease – but much of this could be offset by different land-use practices.

Moving away from monoculture, say scientists, and having something always flowering within bee-distance, would help natural pollinators. This would make crops less dependent on trucked-in bees, which have proved to be vulnerable to die-offs.

Comments

  1. #1 Sean Tubbs
    April 6, 2007

    I heard a story about this on the radio, and it amazes me how frightening it would be for agriculture if bees just simply disappear. That’s the phrase the radio writer came up with, at least. But, I fear that most people will see an article like this and think “Hey, that’s great, means me and my kids won’t be stung as much.”

  2. #2 Letters Of Complaint
    October 20, 2009

    This is going to end the world, read unique esoteric books from early 90s, authors were writing about it, music sing about it, listen to The Gathering early albums
    It is going to end the dominance of humanity on this planet, the new glacial era is coming. Greetings.