IMPORTANT NOTES From the OP Article:
Without profound changes to the way human beings manage the planet, they say, declines in pollinators needed to feed a growing global population are
likely to continue. The scientists warn that a number of factors may now be coming together to hit bee colonies around the world, ranging from
declines in flowering plants and the use of damaging insecticides, to the worldwide spread of pests and air pollution. They call for farmers and
landowners to be offered incentives to restore pollinator-friendly habitats, including key flowering plants near crop-producing fields and stress that
more care needs to be taken in the choice, timing and application of insecticides and other chemicals. While managed hives can be moved out of harm's
way, "wild populations (of pollinators) are completely vulnerable", says the report.
"The way humanity manages or mismanages its nature-based assets, including pollinators, will in part define our collective future in the 21st
century," said Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director.
"The fact is that of the 100 crop species that provide 90 per cent of the world's food, over 70 are pollinated by bees.
"Human beings have fabricated the illusion that in the 21st century they have the technological prowess to be independent of nature.
"Bees underline the reality that we are more, not less, dependent on nature's services in a world of close to seven billion people."
Declines in bee colonies date back to the mid 1960s in Europe, but have accelerated since 1998, while in North America, losses of colonies since 2004
have left the continent with fewer managed pollinators than at any time in the past 50 years, says the report.
Now Chinese beekeepers have recently "faced several inexplicable and complex symptoms of colony losses in both species", the report says. And it has
been reported elsewhere that some Chinese farmers have had to resort to pollinating fruit trees by hand because of the lack of insects.
Furthermore, a quarter of beekeepers in Japan "have recently been confronted with sudden losses of their bee colonies", while in Africa, beekeepers
along the Egyptian Nile have been reporting signs of "colony collapse disorder" – although to date there are no other confirmed reports from the
rest of the continent.
edit on 2-9-2011 by Ellen15 because: (no reason given)