"Loss of Wild Pollinators Serious Threat To Crop Yields, Study Finds"

"The decline of wild bees and other pollinators may be an even more alarming threat to crop yields than the loss of honeybees, a worldwide study suggests, revealing the irreplaceable contribution of wild insects to global food production."

"Scientists studied the pollination of more than 40 crops in 600 fields across every populated continent and found wild pollinators were twice as effective as honeybees in producing seeds and fruit on crops including oilseed rape, coffee, onions, almonds, tomatoes and strawberries. Furthermore, trucking in managed honeybee hives did not replace wild pollination when that was lost, but only added to the pollination that took place.

'It was astonishing; the result was so consistent and clear,' said Lucas Garibaldi, at the National University in Río Negro, Argentina, who led the 46-strong scientific team. 'We know wild insects are declining so we need to start focusing on them. Without such changes, the ongoing loss is destined to compromise agricultural yields worldwide.'"

Damian Carrington  reports for the Guardian February 28, 2013.

SEE ALSO:

"Wild Bees Are Good For Crops, But Crops Are Bad For Bees" (NPR)

"Farmers' Lack of Bees Might Be Solved By Going Wild" (Los Angeles Times)

Source: Guardian, 03/01/2013