“Save the bees!” From Costco campaigns to your local tree hugger, this phrase has been tossed around a lot lately in the news and in the media. But if you thought it wasn’t important, think again. Bees actually make huge contributions to our agriculture and consequently our agribusiness. With that in mind, here are ten things that might not be able to survive a bee extinction.
10. The World Food Supply
It goes without saying that bees are an important part of pollination and agriculture, but most people don’t know exactly how important they really are. Across the world today, there are 100 main varieties of crops that make up 90 percent of the human food supply. Think apples, bananas, avocados, and corn. Bees are the primary agents of pollination for 70 percent of these crops. That means about 63 percent of our food supply is directly dependent on bees.
While there are other species of pollinators, their effect is minuscule compared to that of the bees. Bats, for example, are the next biggest pollinator, but they prefer plants with dull flower colors. These dull crops, like agave, guava, figs, and dates, make up far less of the global food market share, and they wouldn’t be enough to sustain seven billion human beings—unless, of course, we all wanted to live on figgy pudding.