Scientists have developed a bee map which reveals the decline of the population of pollinators in the United States, pointing towards the devastating effects of climate change. Bees are fighting to remain healthy and to stay aloft. Researchers have determined some of the main factors which led towards bees’ decline.
- Scientists in the US developed a bee map which indicates the decline of pollinators.
- We depend on the help of pollinators to have a prosperous agriculture.
- The decline of bee populations is due to climate change.
Among all factors, they listed the decline in natural habitat, global warming, the overuse of pesticides and the development of mono-crop agriculture. All these contribute to the decrease of the bee population. A UN report from 2016 indicated that two out of five spineless pollinator species are currently threatened with extinction. This is discouraging, having a catastrophic effect on global agriculture.
Approximately a third of the crops raised all over the world depend on the help of pollinators to flourish. This accounts for an estimated profit of nearly half a trillion dollars. About $3 billion come from the US alone. We may not realize this but out fate depends on these insects which could help up from starvation.
Dennis vanEngelsdorp, a bee expert at the University of Maryland, stated that if we want to be able to feed the entire world in the future, then we should know that we need to do our best to save pollinators. To reveal the effects of the bee crisis in the US, many researchers from four distinct universities in the US teamed up to analyze habitat distribution with field observations to develop a bee map which could predict how many bees lived in a particular area.
The map was initially published back in 2015. Nevertheless, this week, during the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the map was brought into discussion during the panel “Plan Bee: Pollinators, Food Production, and US Policy.” Taylor Ricketts, a conservation ecologist at the University of Vermont, claimed that this survey provides the first national map of wild bees and their contribution and effect on pollination.
Nevertheless, the picture created was catastrophic. The bee map indicated that there exist about a hundred counties in which the bee population is so decreased that they do not seem to be able to fulfill the pollination task. Unfortunately, many such counties are among the major agricultural production areas, located in California, the Great Plains, and the Pacific Northwest.
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