. Energy News .

Bees, fruits and money
by Staff Writers
London, UK (SPX) Sep 06, 2012

This is the logo for the STEP project. Credit: STEP.

Two thirds of the crops humans use for food production and the majority of wild plant species depend on pollination by insects such as bees and hover-flies. This ecosystem service, however, provided by nature to humans for free, is increasingly failing. As an example, after 3000 years of sustainable agriculture, farmers in the Chinese province Sichuan have to pollinate apple flowers themselves by using pollination sticks - brushes made of chicken feathers and cigarette filter.

This is one small example of a problem occurring world-wide, including Europe. The work has been carried out in part part by STEP, an EU-funded Framework program Seven (FP7) project.

A global survey of several studies demonstrated a severe decline of pollinators and provision of pollination services in a wide range of intensively managed temperate and tropical agroecosystems. Considering that global crop production worth 153 billion Euros (for Europe 22 billion Euros) relies on insect pollination, the pollinators' decline has direct impact on the stability of food production and consumer prices, and might also have serious consequences for human health.

A decrease of fruit and vegetable availability could impact the health of consumers worldwide. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has set a lower limit of 400 grams per capita per day for fruit and vegetable consumption. Some studies demonstrated than even now more than 50% of the European households fall below this recommendation. In the case of pollinator declines and increasing food prices, this situation is very likely to worsen.

"Finally, wild pollinators provide an inestimable contribution to maintain the diversity of wild plants. Importantly, a wide range of pollinators with different preferences to flowers and different daily and seasonal activity is necessary to ensure pollination. Relying on managed honeybees only, which are also in decline by themselves, is a very risky strategy", said Prof. Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter from the University of Wurzburg, Germany.

"Therefore conservation of pollinators' habitats and implementation of agro-environmental practices to enhance wild plants resources and nesting sites for bees in agricultural landscapes are vitally important!"

Related Links
Pensoft Publishers
Farming Today - Suppliers and Technology

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

No-Till Farming Helps Capture Snow and Soil Water
Pullman WA (SPX) Sep 05, 2012
A smooth blanket of snow in the winter can help boost dryland crop productivity in the summer, and no-till management is one way to ensure that blanket coverage, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) research. Agricultural Research Service (ARS) soil scientist David Huggins conducted studies to determine how standing crop residues affect snow accumulation and soil water levels ... read more

Suomi NPP Captures Smoke Plume Images from Russian and African Fires

Remote Sensing Satellite Sends First Earth Imagery

Proba-2's espresso-cup microcamera snaps Hurricane Isaac

$3.7 Billion Reasons Why GIS Technology is The Future

CTrack Launches Lone Worker Device To Boost Protection And Peace Of Mind

Spirent Redefines Leadership in Location Testing with Solution for Hybrid Location Technology

Robbers nabbed thanks to GPS phone in loot

Fourth Galileo satellite reaches French Guiana launch site

Loss of tropical forests reduces rain

Controversy in Liberian forest logging

Amazonian deforestation may cut rainfall by a fifth

Liberia forests sold off in secret logging contracts: report

Waste cooking oil makes bioplastics cheaper

Japan toilet maker showcases 'poop-powered' motorbike

Biorefinery makes use of every bit of a soybean

Warning issued for modified algae

China 'deeply regrets' EU solar panel probe

EU hits Chinese solar companies with massive dumping probe

Constellation announces the completion of 16MW solar installation

Showing the way to improved water-splitting catalysts

Analysis sets price of global wind farms

SeaRoc charter MPI Adventure for Narec's Offshore Anemometry Hub Installation

Japan starts up first offshore wind farm

Maximum Protection against Dust; Minimal Effort

Chinese coal mining a risk?

China's Chalco scraps bid for Mongolia coal miner

Death toll in China mine blast rises to 43

China coal mine blast claims 26 lives: state media

H.K. students protest over 'brainwashing' classes

China villager bombs local government office

China's Wen says property controls still needed: Xinhua

Exiled Tibetans urge world leaders to end 'crisis'

Memory Foam Mattress Review

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement