Bees are vital to our lives; without them, there would be no almonds, and few apples, onions, blueberries, carrots, or even, perish the thought, coffee. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, “more than half of North America’s 4,000 native bee species are in decline, with 1 in 4 species at risk of extinction.” The standard narrative in the words of Food and Water Watch is that “Bee colonies are in the midst of a massive die-off, thanks to dangerous pesticides that poison them and destroy their habitats.” A new study in Nature debunks that belief.
There is no doubt that Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are dying off, with the U.S. reporting a loss of 43% of bee colonies over one year. As The New York Times has reported, almonds, completely dependent upon bees for pollination, use 30,000,000,000 bees annually. That requires 2,000,000 hives. The simple truth is that bees are ranched and moved about the country to pollinate crops. To California to pollinate almonds in February; March to the Pacific Northwest to pollinate plums, cherries, and apples; in April, they arrive in Maine to pollinate blueberries, then down to Florida to help out citrus, finally relaxing in the Dakotas with clover and sunflowers in May.
Eden Research plc (LON:EDEN) is an AIM-quoted company focussed on sustainable biopesticides and plastic-free encapsulation technology for the use in global crop protection, animal health and consumer products industries.