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Bee Extinction Would Bring About Ecological Disaster

Reina Magdariaga Larduet - Contralinea
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March 10, 2016

The declining population of wild bees, a species that produces countless benefits for humans, is an overwhelming concern for many of the world’s academics. Such is this concern that, in his time, Albert Einstein (1879-1955) – considered the most important scientist of the 20th century – predicted that if bees were to become extinct, the human race would disappear within a few years.

Thanks to their pollination (the process of transferring pollen so seeds and fruits can grow) of flowers and plants, bees are enormously important to agriculture and the ecosystem they live in.

According to a study carried out by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (UICN), almost one-tenth of the 1,965 species of wild bees in Europe are facing extinction. The UICN investigation, which forms part of the European Red List, warns that the status of over half of bee species remains unknown.

An article about this study, published in the Nature Communications magazine, states that it is the first time an investigation has been carried out into bees across Europe. The study reveals that 9.2 percent of bee species in Europe are endangered, while 5.2 percent could become endangered in the near future. Jean-Cristophe Vié, director of the UICN’s Global Species Program, states,

“Bees play an essential role in the pollination of our crops. We urgently need to invest in more research to find more effective ways to reverse their decline.”

However, he also warns that current knowledge of bees is incomplete and that there is an alarming lack of experts in the area.

Read the rest at Voices for Mother Earth

Translated by Helena Redman

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