Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Plight of the bumblebee

Sorry about the dire pun, but I couldn't resist it. An iron-hard freeze here this morning, so very much still winter but we are getting close to when queen bumblebees first emerge from hibernation here.
Anyone who cares about these things has been worrying about the decline in the populations of bees and other pollinators for years now, but  it's good to see that other people are cottoning on to the connection between good harvests and buzzy things with wings.
It's good to see that the farming media is reporting on the story and giving space to an academic, Prof Simon Potts of the University of Reading, to tell its audience that: "The value of pollination services to agriculture in the UK is about £440 million per year, with the most valuable contributions made by wild bees."
It's difficult to avoid sounding preachy on this subject, so I'll borrow from David Attenborough instead. He says: ‘If we and the rest of the back-boned animals were to disappear overnight, the rest of the world would get on pretty well. But if the invertebrates were to disappear, the world’s ecosystems would collapse.’

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