Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The Value of Pollinators

All elements of an ecosystem are important to the functioning of that ecosystem. Remove one element and the system will need to make adjustments. The effect of that adjustment may often not be known until after it has happened.
It may be positive or negative, from a human standpoint, but we cannot look at nature from a human standpoint only. Why?
Well, ecosystems are complex, possibly too complex for us to be able to understand all the connections and actions and interactions that takes place within them.
If we do not know what will happen if something changes, it makes no sense to rush in and make those changes.
Now, with bees and honey bees, in particular we know that over one-third of our food supply relies upon them for pollination services and we know that pollination is essential for the reproduction of the plants the bees service.
The honey bee is a major pollinator of many of our food crops, almonds, apples, avocados, blueberries, cantaloupes, cherries, cranberries, cucumbers, sunflowers, watermelon and many other crops all rely on honey bees for pollination.
So if honey bees disappear and we do not find replacements that can do the work they do then foods that we take for granted will decrease in supply and increase in price.
The pollination service provided by insect pollinators, bees mainly, was €153 billion (euros) in 2005 for the main crops that feed the world. This figure amounted to 9.5% of the total value of the world agricultural food production.
The main reason that the honey bees is important for our world is as simple as this; if the honey bee does not pollinate the crops, the crops do not grow and produce the food that gets harvested and brought to the store where we buy it and bring it home to feed ourselves and our families.
In other words there is a direct connection between the bees pollinating the crops and our ability to provide food for our families.

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