Demise Of Pollinators ‘Could Leave Us With Less Food’

An American biologist has warned that a decline in bee populations could seriously affect the human food supply.

Prof Dan Bennett from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, said: “Without them, we would be left with fewer things to eat, or the things we have to eat would be much more expensive.

The expert on pollinators added: “I want people to appreciate what bees are doing for us and understand that if they decline, in a way, so do we.”

Prof Bennett is currently participating in a long-term research project investigating the condition of American bumblebee (Bombus pensylvanicus) populations in East Texas.

Illustrative image of American bumblebee (Bombus pensylvanicus), undated. An American biologist has warned that a decline in bee populations could seriously affect the human food supply. (NewsX/Bee)

For the study, his university is cooperating with the Texas A&M Forest Service and Huntsville’s Sam Houston State University.

Speaking about how the five-year survey’s start, Prof Bennett said: “We’re catching lots of bumblebees of multiple species, and we’re capturing quite a few of the American bumblebee. We’re finding them most places we look, and that’s a very good sign.”

The American bumblebee – which occurs in Canada, the United States and Mexico – is a threatened species.

Asked to explain what the study wants to determine, Prof Bennett said: “Are they going to decline soon? Is there a disease coming? What’s the difference between here and where the populations have already declined?”

He added: “We want to know where the bees are, why they are there, and how that relates to human activities. We’re looking at the entire landscape and the correlates of habitat diversity.”

Bumblebees are solitary bees. They are engaged pollinators. Bumblebees collect nectar but do not convert it into honey.

Prof Christina Grozinger from Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) recently warned: “Studies suggest that populations of a quarter of all bee species globally, including half of all bumblebee species, have fallen significantly.”

The entomologist added: “These declines have serious implications for natural ecosystems, agriculture and human nutrition.”


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