The Guardian journalist, Rosie Boycott writes, " Every spring, thousands of villagers climb through fruit trees hand-pollinating blossoms by dipping "pollination sticks" (brushes made of chicken feathers and cigarette filters) into plastic bottles of pollen and then touching them against each of the tree's billions of blossoms."
"No one quite knows why the honeybees are collapsing in numbers so dramatically but the over-use of pesticides on farms and in gardens, the mysterious "colony collapse disorder", the spread of disease like the varroa mite or foul brood, the changing climate and an increase in mono-cropping on farms, which means less food for bees throughout the summer season are all playing their part."
Here's more eye opening news from Rosie's article:
One-third of all our food staples only grow after pollination. In the United States alone, the cost of replacing this "free service" which nature has provided for hundreds of thousands of years, is put at anything between £14bn and £92bn. And that's in one country alone. If we don't wake up to the global crisis facing our pollinators, the banking crisis is going to look relatively trivial as the world runs out of food. China can, for the time being, afford to hurl this level of human labour at the problem: but short of the prospect of actual starvation, it is wholly unrealistic to imagine this happening in, say, California, where bees still pollinate orange, apple, pear and plum trees.
In Britain they are losing bees at an alarming rate. Worldwide, many beekeepers estimate that, at the current rate of bee loss, there now may be only a 10-year window to find a cause and a solution to this problem. And the British Beekeepers Association has warned that honeybees could disappear entirely from the UK by 2018.
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