Honeybees are the world’s most persecuted savior. Even though they are solely responsible for our plants, we squash them or just run away whenever one is near us. However, as it turns out, and please refrain from going on a bee-killing spree after this, bees are not solely responsible for pollination.
- Bees can be addicted to caffeine, and some plants are taking advantage of that
- Relying solely on bees is dangerous, since they can carry a bunch of diseases
- The bee populations have been going down at a worrying rate
Let’s face it, we have a love-hate relationship with the flying critters. Some of us do understand that they do us a huge favor by pollinating our plants, but it’s not like the relationship is one-sided; that is how they get their nutrients. And sure, some of us kill them and/or run away from them, even though they only attack if provoked, since they die if they sting anyone.
Well, recently, scientists discovered that the little caffeine-addicted creatures are not the only ones responsible for the future of our crops. Other insects also provide pollination, however they are less efficient than the little yellow and brown stingers.
According to a study performed in Australia (because why not look for more trouble in a country where half the living things are already trying to kill you), multiple crops like those of mangoes, apples, kiwi fruit, and even coffee do not owe their entire pollination to bees alone. Other insects, like flies, butterflies, moths, beetles, and even the chaotic evil wasps can be useful for pollination purposes.
The Australian study collected data from 39 other studies performed on 1739 different crops on all 5 continents, and extrapolated the very surprising fact that other, aforementioned insects were responsible for 25 to 50 percent of the pollination.
Now, the problem remains to convince farmers not to spray their crops anymore against the particular, more helpful insects, but that is probably quite a way away.
This study comes to show that all creatures matter the same amount and that no creature put on Earth is put here by mistake. Except probably for the wasps. I still don’t trust them. Actually, I’m not quite sure I’m convinced yet that the study wasn’t published by a team of wasps trying to gain public favor.
Image source: www.wikimedia.org