A recent study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences warns that the U.S. almond crop is threatened after wild bee decline. A recent map from scientists at the University of Vermont showcases the most affected areas in the United States.
Wild bees can be annoying sometimes, especially in the summer time when we spend most of our days in the outdoor. Yet, these diligent insects are incredibly important for humanity as their work helps increase our crop production.
Unfortunately, official reports issued by the White House indicate that the population of wild bees has undergone severe decline in the past five year. The main factors: the toxic substances used to protect crops against insects and the cultivation of bee-hostile plants.
To be more specific, the study that White House officials conducted between 2008 and 2013 showed that there was a 23% decline in the wild bee population during this period of time. As a consequence, scientists are now working to remedy this situation and to increase the wild bee population.
Several problems could arise, if researchers don’t put a stop to the wild bee decline. The most important consequence, however, remains the fact that many U.S. counties will lose their crops. Soon, humanity will be deprived of its nutritious plants simply because the bees won’t be there to pollinate them.
A series of measures have been adopted to help the declining population of the wild bees. First of all, farmers and producers will no longer be allowed to use insecticides that can kill wild bees or lower their reproduction rates. In addition, farmers and regular home owners in the United States can contribute to the recovery of the wild bee population by simply cultivating the plants that bees love to pollinate.
Scientists at the University of Vermont have used all the data provided by the White House to trace a map of the most affected regions in the United States. Images have revealed that the state of California has the lowest population of wild bees. This means crop production in California can be severely damaged if wild bees will be completely gone.
Californian fields are renowned for their pistachio and almond crops. The region is also known for its large production of apples, peaches, blueberries and cherries. Unfortunately, all these agricultural plants rely heavily on wild bees’ pollination and without them farmers won’t have the same results.
Using honey bees has further diminished the presence of wild bees, scientists have added. Almond producers in California will have to stop using commercial honey bees if they want wild bees to come back to the region and pollinate their trees and plants. The latter have better pollination methods, scientists have concluded.
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