pollinators

Loss of wild pollinators hurting food security

Thursday, March 14, 2013 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: wind pollinators, food security, honeybees

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
The five biggest lies about Ebola being pushed by government and mass media
Why does the CDC own a patent on Ebola 'invention?'
Ultraviolet light robot kills Ebola in two minutes; why doesn't every hospital have one of these?
EXCLUSIVE: Natural News tests flu vaccine for heavy metals, finds 25,000 times higher mercury level than EPA limit for water
Tetanus vaccines found spiked with sterilization chemical to carry out race-based genocide against Africans
Truvia sweetener a powerful pesticide; scientists shocked as fruit flies die in less than a week from eating GMO-derived erythritol
Irrefutable proof we are all being sprayed with poison: 571 tons of toxic lead 'chemtrailed' into America's skies every year
Russia taking McDonald's to court, threatens countrywide shutdown
Oregon man serving prison sentence for collecting rainwater on his own property
The best way to help your body protect itself against Ebola (or any virus or bacteria)
Global warming data FAKED by government to fit climate change fictions
Senator who attacked Doctor Oz over dietary supplements received over $146,000 in campaign contributions from Big Pharma mega-retailer and Monsanto
Healthy 12-year-old girl dies shortly after receiving HPV vaccine
Ebola outbreak may already be uncontrollable; Monsanto invests in Ebola treatment drug company as pandemic spreads
HOAX confirmed: Michelle Obama 'GMOs for children' campaign a parody of modern agricultural politics
Ben & Jerry's switches to non-GMO, Fair Trade ice cream ingredients
W.H.O. contradicts CDC, admits Ebola can spread via coughing, sneezing and by touching contaminated surfaces
BREAKING: CDC whistleblower confesses to MMR vaccine research fraud in historic public statement

Delicious
(NaturalNews) The world's crops are being placed at increasing risk due to declines in populations of wild pollinators, and the problem cannot be solved merely by increased reliance on honeybees, according to a study conducted by an international research team and published in the journal Science.

"Our study demonstrates that production of many fruit and seed crops ... is limited because their flowers are not adequately pollinated," said researcher Lawrence Harder of the University of Calgary. "We also show that adding more honey bees often does not fix this problem, but that increased service by wild insects would help."

The team consisted of 50 researchers who analyzed data from 41 separate crop systems in 600 fields spread across 20 countries. Crops analyzed included fruits, seeds, nuts and coffee.

Approximately three-quarters of all human foods depend at least partially upon animals such as insects, birds and bats for pollination. Although domestic honeybees are used to pollinate many crops, the majority of plans to do better with (and may ultimately be dependent on) wild pollinators that live in natural or semi-natural habitats. These habitats, often found at the edges of forests or grasslands, are increasingly being lost, and pollinator populations are falling accordingly.

No replacement for wild insects

The researchers found that fruit production was significantly lower on plants that received fewer visits from wild insects, regardless of whether honeybees were used to pollinate them or not.

An example of wild pollinators' importance can be seen in the case of low-bush blueberry farms in Eastern Canada, researcher Steven Javorek of Agriculture Canada said. Wild bees, which evolved to pollinate the blueberry bushes, will visit the plants in any kind of weather.

"They fly on those kind of wet, cool spring days when the crop is blooming, whereas honey bees are still tucked in their hives," Javorek said. This explains why fields with healthier wild bee populations produce so much better in years with poor weather.

Another reason that wild pollinators outperform honeybees, Harder said, is that wild insects are more likely to visit a larger number of plants, whereas honeybees will visit many flowers on just a single plant. This means that plants visited by wild insects have higher genetic diversity, are healthier, and produce better products.

Plunging populations

Alarmingly, populations of wild pollinators have been plunging worldwide.

"Paradoxically, most common approaches to increase agricultural efficiency, such as cultivation of all available land and the use of pesticides, reduce the abundance and variety of wild insects that could increase production of these crops," Harder said. "Our study highlights the benefits of considering this paradox in designing and implementing agricultural systems."

Although massive agricultural fields may seem to provide food for pollinators, Harder notes that they do so only at certain times of year. In contrast, wild habitat provides the food that wildlife need year-round.

Measures to stem pollinator loss could include decreased use of insecticides, conservation and restoration of natural and semi-natural habitats in agricultural regions, and promoting varied land use that incorporates food and nesting resources for wild pollinators.

Sources:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130228155622.htm
http://o.canada.com

Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.