Don’t Worry. Bee Happy. No pollination crisis, the new spin
Posted by smeddum on May 9, 2009
By Paul Anderson
May 9th 2009
“First of all, most agricultural crop production does not depend on pollinators. On top of that, while honey bees may be dwindling in some parts of the world, the number of domesticated bees world-wide is actually on the rise, their new report shows.
“The honey bee decline observed in the USA and in other European countries including Great Britain, which has been attributed in part to parasitic mites and more recently to colony collapse disorder, could be misguiding us to think that this is a global phenomenon,” said Marcelo Aizen of Universidad Nacional del Comahue in Argentina. “We found here that is not the case.”
says this recent report from Science daily
This plays down their earlier findings.
“Claire Kremen, an assistant professor at UC Berkeley’s Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, is co-author of this new study.
“There’s a widely stated phrase in agriculture that you can thank a pollinator for one out of three bites of food you eat,” said Kremen, who is also a member of the Committee on Status of Pollinators that produced the NRC report and leader of a group at the National Center for Ecological and Analysis and Synthesis that co-sponsored the work. “However, it wasn’t clear where that calculation came from, so we set out to do a more thorough and reproducible estimate, and we wanted to look at the impact on a global scale.”
What the researchers found fell in line with the dictum to which Kremen referred. Out of the 115 crops studied, 87 depend to some degree upon animal pollination, accounting for one-third of crop production globally. Of those crops, 13 are entirely reliant upon animal pollinators, 30 are greatly dependent and 27 are moderately dependent.
The crops that did not rely upon animal pollination were mainly staple crops such as wheat, corn and rice.”. Science daily
The list of foods bees pollinate is here.
It includes alfalfa primary used as feed for dairy cattle—because of its high protein content and highly digestible fiber—and secondarily for beef cattle, horses, sheep, and goats.
Three quarters of food production (76%) is dependent on bees and 84% of vegetables grown in Europe depend on pollination.”
According to a National Geographic report accepted by the European parliament.
We are told by Science Daily that despite the problems of the US and Europe, the rest of the world is fit for bees. Yet this contradicticts this report from Argentina, which reports the problem is indeed global.
One wonders if the first piece of misinformation on the extent we use pollination is as false as the misinformation on how widespread the problem has become.
We are also in the last day of bee week in New Zealand.