Southerns Beekeeping Association

Loss of pollinators

The Rockefeller Foundation-Lancet Commission on Planetary Health.        Vol 386 -November 2015

 Loss of pollinators

Good evidence exists that concerns about reductions in both wild and domesticated pollinators are well founded, but multiple factors are implicated.135

For example, widespread population decreases in domesticated honey bees are probably due to a combination of increased exposure to pests and parasites, environmental stressors (including agrochemicals), and reduced genetic diversity.135

Pollination by insects is an important form of reproduction

for at least 87 types of leading global food crops, comprising more than 35% of the annual global food production by volume.136 As such, reductions in the distribution and abundance of pollinators has substantial implications for agricultural productivity and nutrition.137 Depending on dietary composition, up to 50% of the cultivation of plant derived sources of vitamin A requires pollination throughout much of southeast Asia.138 Iron and folate have lower, but still significant pollinator dependence, reaching 12–15% in some parts of the world.138

Smith and colleagues139 report that losses of pollinators could leave hundreds of millions of people at risk of vitamin A and folate deficiencies, and reduce the amount of fruits, vegetables, and nuts and seeds in the diet. The consequences for global health of such dietary changes would be severe; a 50% loss of pollination is estimated to increase deaths by around 0·7 million annually.


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.