Saturday, May 12, 2007

Honeybee Die-Off Threatens Food Supply



After a recent "run-in" with a swarm of bees on our boating trip, I've had an interesting new point of view of their work!!

May 03, 2007 — By Seth Borenstein, Associated PressBELTSVILLE, Md. -- Unless someone or something stops it soon, the mysterious killer that is wiping out many of the nation's honeybees could have a devastating effect on America's dinner plate, perhaps even reducing us to a glorified bread-and-water diet.

Honeybees don't just make honey; they pollinate more than 90 of the tastiest flowering crops we have. Among them: apples, nuts, avocados, soybeans, asparagus, broccoli, celery, squash and cucumbers. And lots of the really sweet and tart stuff, too, including citrus fruit, peaches, kiwi, cherries, blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, cantaloupe and other melons.
In fact, about one-third of the human diet comes from insect-pollinated plants, and the honeybee is responsible for 80 percent of that pollination, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Even cattle, which feed on alfalfa, depend on bees. So if the collapse worsens, we could end up being "stuck with grains and water," said Kevin Hackett, the national program leader for USDA's bee and pollination program.
"This is the biggest general threat to our food supply," Hackett said.
While not all scientists foresee a food crisis, noting that large-scale bee die-offs have happened before, this one seems particularly baffling and alarming.


You can find the rest of the article here, but isn't it interesting how much our lives depend on bees!? And you thought they only made honey!!!
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2 comments:

  1. I just saw this article and it's even more alarming! It's more than just bees, it's all pollinators!


    Loss of species that pollinate is cause for global alarm, researchers say

    Birds, bees, bats and other species that pollinate North American plant life are losing population, according to a study released Wednesday by the National Research Council. This "demonstrably downward" trend could damage dozens of commercially important crops, scientists warned, because three-fourths of all flowering plants depend on pollinators.

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  2. Here's the link to the article!

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/10/19/MNGA0LRRK31.DTL&feed=rss.news

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So whaddaya think?

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