If the Bees All Die

Whole Foods Market produce department without items dependent on pollinator populations. (PRNewsFoto/Whole Foods Market)

Will We Still Have Fruit if Bees Die Off? | Science Blogs | WIRED.

Interesting article on plant pollinators and their disappearance.

Although we think of the European honeybee as the main pollinator of our food crops, native species actually do a lot of the work:

In a study of 41 different crop systems worldwide, only 14% had yield increases with honey bees present. Who did all the pollination? Native bees and other insects.

These natives species are subjected to the same pesticides as the honeybees, plus they have to contend with climate change and habitat loss.  With a warming earth, plant flowering times and pollinator availability may not be in sync. So plants don’t reproduce, and pollinators starve.

50% of Midwestern native bee species disappeared over a 100 year period.

What will we do if they disappear?  Can we afford the price of food if we have to turn to hand pollination?

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