Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Kind of a bee-g deal

That Einstein quote about mankind dying out within four years if bees join the dinosaurs and dodos may be bogus, but there's a reason why it sounds as if it's true...from the UK's Guardian:
The abundance of four common species of bumblebees in the US has dropped by 96% in just the past few decades, according to the most comprehensive national census of the insects. Scientists said the alarming decline, which could have devastating implications for the pollination of both wild and farmed plants, was likely to be a result of disease and inbreeding.[...]

Insects such as bees, moths and hoverflies pollinate around a third of the agricultural crops grown worldwide. If all of the UK's insect pollinators were wiped out, the drop in crop production would cost the UK economy up to £440m a year, equivalent to around 13% of the UK's income from farming.

The collapse in the global bee population is a major threat to crops.

It is estimated that a third of everything we eat depends upon pollination by bees, which means they contribute some £26bn to the global economy.
Of course the right thing to do is wait until it becomes a crisis, as it's then and only then that the Free Market Fairy will appear and gloriously innovate our way out of $50 loaves of bread and mass starvation.

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