Bees pollinate 1/3 of our food? Entomologist debunks 6 pervasive pollinator myths

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…. [B]ees are ever-increasing in popularity across many sectors including conservation, gardening, fashion, marketing, and public/corporate strategies …. And as their popularity spreads, so does the amount of incorrect information about them, which makes an Melittologist (someone who studies bees), buzz with frustration…

So here’s …. six statements about bees that are often used, but aren’t true…

One in three bites of food (or one third of food) depends on bee pollination:

The source of this “one in three” or “one third” quote is thought to be a 1976 Pollination Handbook, which says “it appears that perhaps one-third of our total diet is dependent, directly or indirectly, upon insect-pollinated plants.”

Related article:  Genetic Literacy Project’s Top 6 Stories for the Week

In 2007, an excellent paper by Alex Klein and co-authors was published, which states in its abstract “60% of global production comes from crops that do not depend on animal pollination, 35% from crops that depend on pollinators, and 5% are unevaluated”. But if you read the paper properly, you will see “Production of 39 of the leading 57 single crops increases with pollinating animals… account[ing] for 35% (23×108 Mt) of global food production”.

But the authors acknowledge that not all crops are entirely dependent on animal pollination ….

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