(Mirror Daily, United States) – The numbers are worryingly mismatched, as wild bees are in low numbers in crucial areas, which means that their population is going down precisely where it shouldn’t. There’s only so much farmlands can count on commercial honey bee operators. The native population of bees do have their part to play.
Unfortunately, their numbers are dropping. Researchers studied 139 crops across the United States that amounts of 39% of the pollinator-dependent fields in the country. They observed the high cost and huge investments of bringing in pollinators, but also the fact that wild bees themselves are in decline. That cuts a tremendous amounts of potential.
Thus, a study claimed that almost 40% of all pollinator-dependent crops in the U.S. may not receive honey bees this year due to the huge demand. The population of wild bees is plummeting, and the demands for them are growing bigger. This includes crops such as squash, almonds, peaches, watermelon, blueberries, and apples, among many who need the insects.
It has been reported that the almond industry, in particular, spends around $240 million per year to bring around 1 million bee hives to pollinate their trees. The demands of the industry are growing higher, and the native bees numbers are dropping lower. Since honey bee operators have seen losses due to collapsed colony disorder, pesticides, and habitat loss, they cannot cover all the losses.
Wild bees are facing the same challenges as honey bees. According to co-author of the study, Taylor Ricketts from the Gund Institute, pollinators are clearly in trouble. It hurts the crops, the food diversity, the insects, and it’s costing a lot of money. Their study highlights the fact that around $3 billion of the U.S. agricultural economy is going toward farmlands purchasing the service of pollinators.
And, in turn, where the bees are most needed, the demands have gone up by 200%.
The solution could potentially be in assuring a safe space for the bees to live and pollinate. The American government is now determined to dedicate around 7 million acres of land for that purpose that will continue for at least the next 5 years. If the situation is handled with good management and care, it’s possible that they could bounce back.
One of the biggest cause of the drop in bee population is the construction of farmland. By assuring a space where they can live and pollinate, perhaps some of that space could be given back. It will help the wild bee population and maintain proper crop pollination. According to Ricketts, there are not just two types of bees out there. In fact, there are 4,000 of them in the U.S. who could help. But we need to help them first.
Image source: independent.co.uk