Bee population numbers are dropping - and US crop yields could plummet as a result
A lack of pollinators like bees is leading to reduced crop yields for apples, cherries, and blueberries across the United States, researchers report. Most of the world’s crops depend on honeybees and wild bees for pollination, so declines in both managed and wild bee populations raise concerns about food security, according to the new study.
“We found that many crops are pollination-limited, meaning crop production would be higher if crop flowers received more pollination. We also found that honey bees and wild bees provided similar amounts of pollination overall,” says Rachael Winfree, a professor in the ecology, evolution, and natural resources department in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University-New Brunswick and senior author of the paper in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.
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Words by Todd Bates