In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Bees disappearing, bring on the fruit bats

Posted by smeddum on August 26, 2008

Pollinator Specialists To Consider Responses To Bee Hive Collapse Crisis
Written by Imperial Valley News

From the sublime to the ridiculous, there is a valid assumption that the bees are on their way out, but can they really be replaced by fruit bats? Bats themselves are under threat of extinction and do pollinate but they are several million short when it comes to the massive pollination tasks of bees. Including bumblebees ( BBC 2001) and here MSNBC(2007). Yet again there is an eerie ignorance in both articles of the role played by magnetite in bees navigation.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008
Sacramento, California – With the widespread issue of hive collapse affecting agriculture around the world, CDFA Secretary A.G. Kawamura is promoting and supporting the Native Pollinators In Agriculture Work Group, which is conducting a field tour of working farms in Yolo County on Wednesday, August 27, 2008.

Secretary Kawamura is working with the project’s steering committee as it examines real world opportunities to enhance pollination services and profitability with native pollinators, such as native bumblebees and other bees native to California; some moths; and even fruit bats. Notably, honeybees are not native to California.

The field tour will leave by bus from the Hallmark Inn in Davis at 7:45 a.m. and will return around 5:00 p.m. Media are invited to attend.

Through its work to date, the steering committee has found that the decline in pollinator populations is real and that these declines represent a critical challenge for U.S. agriculture. Over eighty percent of the world’s food and fiber crops require insects and animals for pollination. In recent years, specialists have documented dramatic declines in pollinator populations and disruptions in pollinator services worldwide. These factors have led to declines in crop yields, higher food prices, and loss of biodiversity along with changes in ecosystem function and health.

The steering committee is working to create an agriculture-led pollinator protection alliance to provide strategic leadership in mobilizing the agricultural sector to embrace and work proactively in support of efforts to increase populations of native pollinators and enhance pollination services.

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