Pollination from bees is crucial to the eco-system, but worryingly the bee population is rapidly declining due to habitat loss, pollution and the use of pesticides. Bee expert and University of Sussex professor Dave Goulson has revealed just what the devastating impact will be if bees disappear for good.
He warns that thousands of wild plant species and 75 percent of the crops we grow would deteriorate because bees are the dominant pollinator in most terrestrial ecosystems.
As a result, the amount of fruit and vegetables available in supermarkets would be hugely reduced and many flower varieties will cease to exist.
Among the foods affected will be most curries, pasta sauces, pizza toppings, baked beans and fruits including apples, cherries and melons.
Professor Goulson has also teamed-up with Fairtrade tea company Clipper Teas to highlight the threat posed by pesticides to bee numbers.
This follows research of 2,000 adults, also commissioned by Clipper Teas, which found a quarter don’t realise how toxic pesticides are.
Professor Goulson said: “Many pesticides are directly toxic to bees – not just insecticides, but also fungicides and herbicides. And worryingly honey stores in bee nests often contain cocktails of 10 or more pesticides.
“There is abundant evidence that these pesticides kill bees or have ‘sublethal’ effects such as impaired learning, low resistance to disease, and reduced fertility. Furthermore, herbicides also get rid of weeds – otherwise known as wildflowers – so less food for bees.”
WHAT WOULD VANISH IF BEES BECAME EXTINCT?
Strawberry jam (and most fruit jams)