Sunday, October 19, 2008

Crops ‘Mostly Unaffected’ By Colony Collapse Disorder

Global Bee Population Decline Not Nearly as Bad as it Seems
By Bart B. Van Bockstaele, Digital Journal, 10/18/2008

The dramatic global decline of pollinator (mainly bee) populations, also known as Colony Collapse Disorder, was predicted to have dire consequences for agriculture and hence for our food supply. Surprisingly enough however, pollinator dependent agricultural crops are mostly unaffected.

Anna Petherick reports in Nature that this is the conclusion of a study by Alexandra Klein and her colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley. They have used data from the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations) spanning a period of 1961 to 2006 to compare the yields of crops that require pollination with crops that do not require pollination.

They discovered that the yields for both types of crops have risen consistently over the years with an average of about 1.5% per annum. Even when they divided the data into crops from developing countries and crops from developed countries, they found no differences…

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