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News & Press: 2014 News Items

Netspot : Honey bees are dying and nobody seems to know the reason why.

27 September 2013   (1 Comments)
Posted by: Bert vd Heever
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The Washington Post recently reported that : "The mysterious collapse of bee colonies around the world has turned into a real crisis. In the United States, domesticated bee populations have reached a 50-year low and keep dwindling. The situation is just as dire in many other countries. 

And that’s bad news for all those crops that depend on bees. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that "out of some 100 crop species which provide 90% of food worldwide, 71 of these are bee-pollinated." Around the world, these crops are worth at least $207 billion."

Chinadialogue reports that: " In recent years, farmers have been forced to hand-pollinate their trees, carrying pots of pollen and paintbrushes with which to individually pollinate every flower, and using their children to climb up to the highest blossoms. This is clearly just possible for this high-value crop, but there are not enough humans in the world to pollinate all of our crops by hand."

Andrew Muir writes on the Wilderness Foundation web site: "All of this is important because protecting habitats is essential to preserving our planet's biodiversity. Over the past fifty years our population has more than doubled. During the same time period, the world lost 25 per cent of its land species, 28 per cent of marine life, and 29 per cent of freshwater species. This is the fastest and greatest rate of biodiversity loss since the extinction of the dinosaurs. The main cause is habitat destruction, which is destroying ecosystems. What environmentalists and conservationists now recognize is that biospheres will only survive if people, especially those who live near wild spaces, derive a greater benefit from preserving them than destroying them."

How do we, the built-environment professionals, help to create a balance between urban growth and a sustainable future?


Comments...

Ian Manson Fraser says...
Posted 17 December 2013
On the Wilderness website, Andrew Muir goes on to state, "So there is now strong evidence, and as reported in the latest issue of Conservation, that the global population of honey bees has risen by just over 45% since the 1960s. Not surprisingly, during the same time period the production of pollinator-dependent crops has quadrupled. According to this research most of this increase in the population of honey bees and production has taken place in South America, Turkey and China. In these ...regions the production of pollinator-dependent crops (cardamom, melons, and cashews) has quadrupled over the past forty years and, along with that, the number of beehives. It seems that ....on a global perspective, it is not just funguses, viruses, or changing temperatures that are affecting bee populations... but, put simply, economic globalization and the world's growing appetite for melons, cashews, chocolate, and other luxury crops." Now that is also interesting. Many thanks.