Wild bumblebee populations around America are disappearing at rates, which are causing alarm for farmers. Bees and other native pollinators decreases could adversely impact crops during the coming growing season. The advantages offered by wild pollinators is reportedly surpass the benefits offered by domesticated pollinators.
A bee study published by the Science journal found that the threat posed to crops in America could be even more severe than previously thought. A team of 46 researchers reviewed the pollination, which occurred in 600 fields and more than 40 different crop varieties. Wild bees and other native pollinators reportedly worked twice as well on specific crops than domesticated honeybees and pollinators.
Crops which responded significantly better with wild honeybees doing the pollinating include coffee, oilseed, tomatoes, almonds, and strawberries, Counsel and Heal notes. The number of domesticated honeybees in the farming area did not help make up for the loss of wild bees, according to pollination project researchers.
Research leader Lucas Garibaldi had this to say about the crop dangers posed by the decreasing number of wild bees:
“It was astonishing. The result was so consistent and clear. We know wild insects are declining so we need to start focusing on them. Without such changes, the ongoing loss is destined to compromise agricultural yields worldwide.”
Approximately three-fourths of the crops in the entire world rely on pollination to thrive and grow. The decline in the bumble population was reportedly cause by the use of pesticides and diseases, the New York Times notes. Scientists largely believe the wild bees pollinate better because they possess a more vast range of pollination techniques than domesticated honeybees. Wild bees typically cross-pollinate more frequently because they roam on more plants than honeybees.
Are you concerned that a decrease in wild bees could ultimately have a devastating impact on the food supply?
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