Dr. Jeff Pettis, USDA Scientist, Says Bee Apocalypse Is ‘One Poor Weather event or High Winter Bee Loss’ Away

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2342069/What-supermarket-look-like-bees-die-Empty-shelves-scant-produce-options.html

What your supermarket will look like if bees die out: Empty shelves, scant produce options

By Ashley Collman

PUBLISHED: 22:51 EST, 14 June 2013 | UPDATED: 22:51 EST, 14 June 2013

If you heard the news that honey bees are facing extinction and thought, ‘one less thing to sting me this summer’ – who could blame you?But to put into perspective the impact losing these pollinators has on our diet, Whole Foods staged an experiment at their University Heights, Rhode Island where they removed all of the produce made possible by bee labor.The result:

With and without bees: Image left is Whole Foods with bee-produced products. To the right is what the store would look like if honey bees died out and were no longer able to aid in pollinating With and without bees: Image left is Whole Foods with bee-produced products. To the right is what the store would look like if honey bees died out and were no longer able to aid in pollinating

An apocalyptic-looking produce department. If honey bees went extinct, Whole Foods would lose 237 of their 453 products – that’s 52 per cent of what they sell.

So what can you say goodbye to in this bee-less new world? Here’s a short list: apples, onions, avocados, carrots, mangoes, lemons, limes, honeydew, cantaloupe, zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, cucumbers, green onions, cauliflower, leeks, bok choy, kale, broccoli, broccoli rabe, mustard greens.

Turns out one of every three bites of food comes from plants pollinated by honeybees and other pollinators.

So taking their stings are the price we pay to have apple pie on the Fourth of July, kale in our work salads, and wedges of lime in our poolside Coronas.

To combat the issue, Whole Foods partnered with The Xerces Society, an international nonprofit that protects invertebrates and their habitats.

Important players: They may have nasty stingers, but bees are essential to the human diet - as well as the economic well-bring of the U.S. agricultural systemImportant players: They may have nasty stingers, but bees are essential to the human diet – as well as the economic well-bring of the U.S. agricultural system
Possible extinction: 30 per cent of honey bee colonies have died out every winter since 2007, a number making scientists concerned about the future agriculture Possible extinction: 30 per cent of honey bee colonies have died out every winter since 2007, a number making scientists concerned about the future agriculture

From June 12-25, the company is donating 10 cents from every organic summer squash sold to The Xerces Society.

‘We don’t always notice it when walking down a grocery store aisle, but pollinators are a critical link in our food system,’ said Eric Mader of The Xerces Society.

More than 83 per cent of the plan species on earth require bees and other pollinators to exist, and these plans include some of the most nutritious parts of our diet. Despite their importance, we continue to see alarming declines in bee numbers.’

The problem of bees dying out can be traced back to the mid-2000s. Since then these honey bees have been dying out by the tens of millions, according to Quartz. Scientists warned that time is running out to save these creatures in a recent report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

‘Currently, the survivorship of honey bee colonies is too low for us to be confident in our ability to meet the pollination demands of U.S. agricultural crops,’ the reports says.

So what’s killing off the bees? The report states a few different factors may be responsible, from pesticides used in farming to the lack of natural habitats for bees to feed off of. Whatever it is, colony collapse disorder has caused the death of 30 per cent of bee colonies every winter since 2007.

USDA scientist Jeff Pettis estimates, ‘We are one poor weather event or high winter bee loss away from a pollination disaster.’

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Posted on June 16, 2013, in Health / Medicine, Science / Technology and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Do you know what my feelings are regarding the depleting bee population? I believe it’s cell phones and Wi-Fi. This world is SATURATED with technology that allows us to communicate without the use of land line wiring and with the invention of products that work with invisible waves of wiring I truly believe it interferes with the bee’s ability to navigate and reproduce. The honey bee is so sensitive to these electro ?? waves that it is killing them and confusing them. Just a thought that maybe Dr. Jeff Pettis from the USDA should look into further. If this idea is something to look into and research….good luck fighting the big cell phone and computer companies.

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