An article by Green Daily (http://tinyurl.com/pcy98d) has prompted me to write this post.
Plants have been pollinated by wind, water, insects, bats and other vectors for hundreds of millions of years, long before the european honeybee evolved or was dispersed world-wide by beekeepers. None of the honeybee hoopla propounded by agricultural interests acknowledges this important point.
Grains like wheat and rice are pollinated by wind, not eurobees. Any suggestion that a loss of eurobees will have a significant impact on grain production would be a damn lie.
Similarly, in my own garden are numerous species of pollinators busily working the flowers. In fact, rather few of humanity's crops were pollinated by the eurobee until relatively recently. Not surprisingly, those plants continue being pollinated by insects other than the eurobee. Our crops will not be lost despite what we are being spoon-fed by concerned but ignorant ag interests.
Conversely, I suspect that a severe decimation of the world eurobee population could result in an increase of other pollinators that could quite easily make up the difference. Think about it: Ecological science teaches us that a finite resource will support more individuals of multiple species than of a single species. Thus, if the world's eurobee population is decimated, it is far more likely that native pollinators will take up the slack than it is that ag production will fall off. Indeed, it is even possible that there will be MORE pollinators if the eurobee is decimated!
Another factor to consider is that a huge amount of our "produce" is actually feedstock for the meat-raising industry. Perhaps when we eat less meat we will see a decrease in ag acreage, a decrease in pesticide usage with a concomitant increase in natural pollinators and fewer human cancers, a lower eurobee density which could reduce the number and severity of eurobee disease irruptions, and a rise in the diversity and richness of natural insect pollinators, among many other benefits.
I am an ecologist that cares far more for species diversity than for tunnel-visioned parochial concerns over a single kind of bug. I am gratified to know that my vegetable and herb garden is pollinated by miner bees that nest in the sandy clay bank outside my back door, by dung beetles that assist in decomposing raccoon feces under the cabbage palm fruiting inflorescences outside my front door, and by the crab spiders sitting on flowers a-waitin' hapless eurobees to step into their parlors. And, none of the latter species sting me, either, LOL.
The on-going population deflation of the eurobee is yet another example of humans overpopulating earth with monocultures to such an extent that disease vectors evolve quickly into new strains of pests. Ecologically, the irruptions of eurobee diseases are inevitable, after all, this is what happens eventually to so many if not all of our agricultural and horticultural species. Eventually, this could happen to us, too, as we continue to believe that we all have the “right” to have as many children as we want.
Only those who are ignorant of entomology, ecology and history could think that the loss of a single species of pollinator would result in staggering losses to the ag sector. No, it is a 100 percent certainty that we will find ways around our dependence on the eurobee. Any suggestion to the contrary should demand long term empirical evidence before being given any credence.
Let's stop bee-ting around the bush and acknowledge that our ag problems are the consequences of human overpopulation.