Wild bee populations dwindle in main US crop regions
This article refers to the US, a large scale mono crop machine, however it does provide a valuable insight for Europe’s tomorrow.
Such trends not only threaten to increase farming costs, but could eventually destabilise crop production.
As if this wasn’t already of paramount importance, #wild bees are also hard workers, contributing over $3 billion to the US economy every year.
In addition, people have to acknowledge the significance of preservation applications that offer flowering environments, which are capable of supporting wild #bees or other pollinators.
Overall, wild bees declined across almost one-fourth of the country between 2008 and 2013. He says the private sector is also involved, as some power companies swap the green vegetation under power lines out with plants for pollinators, and fruit farmers have planted vegetation that attracts bees at their own expense.
The study comes after alarms were raised at the highest levels, including a 2014 White House memorandum that called for a national assessment of wild pollinators and their habitats. “It’s the first spatial portrait of pollinator status and impacts in the U.S”.
The report identifies 139 counties in major agricultural locations across United States like California, the Pacific Northwest, the upper Midwest and Great Plains, west Texas, and the southern Mississippi River valley where apples, pumpkins, almonds, blueberries, peaches, pears and plums are grown.
If intensive agricultural areas continue to expand, without any conservation and restoration efforts, then I expect more mismatched areas of pollinator supply and demand.
Authors of the study note that pollinators are definitely in trouble, but there hasn’t been a clarity until now about where they are in most trouble – something that this study answers with details of hotspots the reveal the status of pollinators and their impacts in the US.
“Wild bees are a precious natural resource we should celebrate and protect”, says Ricketts.
In all, there are 139 counties with an imbalance, including Roseau and Otter Tail counties in Minnesota.
The study found that 39 percent of US croplands that depend on pollinators face a “threatening mismatch between rising demand for #pollination and a falling supply of wild bees“. “It could be a glimpse of the future for a lot of crops”, he continued.
Creating wild #bee habitat on field edges could help maintain wild bee populations and sustain crop pollination, he says. However, the study also outlines several regions with greater uncertainty about bee populations.
“Findings support recent evidence that increasing demand for corn for the production of biofuels has increased the threat to natural habitat in corn-growing regions”, the study said. This might mean farmers are more dependent on managed honeybees, which would increase colony rental costs.
Study co-author Taylor Ricketts, a landscape ecologist at the University of Vermont, said the results could be a warning to growers that they are too dependent on commercial honey bees and needed to diversify their portfolios. Williams helped design the study and led efforts to assess bee habitat quality as part of the Integrated Crop Pollination Project.
Significant decline has come in population of wild bees in some of the main agricultural regions of America, unveiled the first national map of bee populations.