World Alarm over Loss of Pollinators: TAKE ACTION NOW
SIGN THE PETITION AT THE ABOVE WEBSITE
What if spring arrived without the plants we depend on? We’re losing the pollinators our plants need to reproduce. Please begin this year of nurturing plants with spreading your angel wings around the message, carry it far and wide, begin with signing the petition at the Change.org website linked here. Forward it to everyone. As I write, there are only 411 signatures. Everyone who likes to eat must sign and furthermore, make this a priority issue. As Change.org puts it:
Biochemists have shown that air pollution inhibits the distance that flower’s fragrances can travel. Scent molecules usually travel easily in the air, but pollutants break them apart, which destroys the smell. The researchers found that these delicate odors responsible for attracting bees and other pollinating insects are traveling as little as one-third of their former distances.
Atmospheric and environmental scientists report that flower’s scents are being destroyed. What’s to blame for the disappearing aromas? Pollution. Fumes from cars and factories are pumping pollutants into the air, which may be destroying flower’s fragrances.
“What we find is that these fragrances only travel one-third of the distance that they used to travel,” Dr. Fuentes says.
Flowers produce scent molecules that travel easily in the air. Pollutants break apart the fragrance molecules, destroying their smell. Our noses will miss the pleasant fragrance, but bee’s depend on it.
“The pollinators are spending more time trying to locate food and less time trying to actually harvest food that they need,” Dr. Fuentes notes.
Wiping out flower scents could have a major impact on bee populations. But we can help bring back the bees and flower smells.
Entomologists are studying the reasons behind an enormous bee die off happening across the country. They call it Colony Collapse Disorder, and if they cannot find a solution the 80% of fruits and vegetables that require pollination may not make it to market. The cause appears to be related to diseases from pesticides, but no one is certain.
Don’t be afraid of the buzz of a bee. If it wasn’t for bees, many fruits and vegetables we enjoy wouldn’t exist. They are vital for pollination of plants, but lately, they’ve been disappearing by the billions, possibly putting food supplies at risk.
“We need them for the food that we eat, for the color and variety that’s on our plate,” says Dewey Caron, Ph.D., an entomologist from University of Delaware. But this year, bees are dying by the billions, a problem threatening to wipe out crops dependent on bees for pollination. Fewer bees could cost us all at the grocery store.
Jay Evans, Ph.D., a geneticist from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, says, “What was striking is the suddenness with which the bees disappeared.” Entomologists call the mass disappearance, colony collapse disorder, or CCD. The cause is most likely toxins that make bees more susceptible to or cause disease.
“We’ve seen collapses of colonies in the past, thought they were related to stress, related to nutrition, this seemed to be very widespread,” Caron says. Bees pollinate 80 percent of fruits and vegetables by transferring pollen from one flowering plant to another. This starts fertilization that helps the plant grow seeds that turn into the food we eat.
“It’s really this pollination service that we cannot live without if we want the very inexpensive food, the abundance and the variety of foods that we’re accustomed to,” Caron says.
Bee keepers are now taking steps to control CCD so higher produce prices won’t be all the buzz.
BACKGROUND: An alarming drop in honey bee populations has beekeepers fighting for survival, and crop growers wondering whether enough bees will be available to pollinate their crops this spring and summer. Entomologists, in turn, are scrambling to find answers to what’s causing the affliction, which appears to be becoming more severe and is now appearing in Europe. As much as one-third of the food we consume comes from pollinated crops, so the shortage of bees could mean that certain foods will be in short supply.
Posted on February 1, 2010, in Conservation and tagged bees, endangered food, endangered plants, environmental protection, herbicides, pesticides, petition to protect pollinators, pollinators, pollution. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.