Honeybee populations continue to collapse across the globe. There does not seem to be a single cause, but a multiplicity of them. This article serves as a reminder of the service these pollinators do for us, and indicates that we are not near a solution.
Losses are alarming not just for honey lovers but for a huge chunk of the global agricultural market as well. Some 52 of the world’s 112 leading crops — from apples and soybeans to cocoa and almonds — rely on pollination. One 2009 study by economists put the value of insect pollination, mainly by bees, at about $212 billion.
And with human population increasing quickly, observers worry that the bee decline will deepen a global crisis unfolding from limited crops and soaring food prices.
The threat to bees is international. England lost more than half its hives in the last two decades, and baffling bee losses are occurring in Asia, South America and the Middle East.
A single silver bullet to end the problem is still out of reach.