Science: Bees Are the Most Important Species on Earth

The "insect apocalypse" puts all species at risk, conservationists say. (Updated April 24, 2020) Insects—pollinators, in particular—are integral to a healthy environment and the planet’s survival. According to the international conservation nonprofit Earthwatch Institute, bees are the most important species on earth. The declaration was made last July at a meeting of the Royal Geographical Society of London. What makes bees’ health important? Why Bees Are Important Without bees, global food production would look very different. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), three out of four crops that produce fruit or seeds for human consumption depend, at least in part, on pollinators. While pollinators also include bats and birds, insects such as bees, butterflies, and hoverflies are the most common. Pollinators support the production of 87 percent of leading food crops worldwide. It’s not just one species of bee that supports global agricultural production. Francisco Sanchez-Bayo, an environmental scientist and ecologist at the University of Sydney, explains on Metafact that honeybees may provide up to 14 percent of global pollination services. But, bumblebees and other wild species represent most pollinators. Sanchez-Bayo adds, “In economic terms, the value of pollinator services represents some 12 […]

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  1. Don’t forget the humble moth. Not necessarily as glamorous as butterflies but they are the world’s “secret” pollinators and should be protected as much as butterflies, bees etc.

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