A world without bees would wipe out many staple crops, UN warns on World Bee Day
And welcome to Haagen zero hung up a putt costs that explores the food challenges and solutions of our time. Brought to you by the food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations on your host show. Lotte Lomas may twenty marks will be day. It's a day to highlight the importance of bays and the threats they face most of the fruits and vegetables, we ate wouldn't exist without bees and other pollinators. They're essential to our food security, and to conserving, the world's by diversity, but base face a very serious, existential threat to learn more. We're joined by FAO's Abram Bixler an agricultural officer with a passion for pollinators. Welcome abram. Thank you very much. Pleasure to be here. So how Di is the state of bays in other pollinators right now the figures are not looking very good for bees in, in pollinators. And we talk about pollinators a lot of. People think of, of honeybees, which is really important part of Edgar Coulter. But there are many, many diverse wild pollinators as well. So about twenty thousand from be species insects, and other vertebrates other animals, like bats, and hummingbirds, and even monkeys can be pollinators. And so when we look across pollinators, there are many threats facing pollinators and globally. They're, they're facing a real decline managed honeybees, the number of honeybees are actually increasing, but the wild pollinators across the world are decreasing in even the honeybees are facing many threats. And there's a lot of issues facing those as well. Let's talk about those threats for what's killing pollinators could use run through the full list threats facing. So it's really company of, of factors kind of all come together all of which are driven by by human. Activity. So climate change is a factor. Habitat loss is a factor. The overuse of pesticides is, is a big factor. But also, there are many diseases in pests as well that are affecting our pollinators. And so when those are taking together pollinators really facing a hard time. How severe is the existential threat to base, and should we be worried. We should we should very much be be worried where the data is especially North America in Europe. There is major declines happening, not only on these, but other insects, especially in, in general, one of the big things is that we still lack most basic data on a lot of pollinators in other parts of the world, Africa Asia, and also, South America, and one of the big fears is that with habitat loss and destruction along with global climate change. We can't even in summer. Regards know what pollinators are out there. So our best estimates are about twenty thousand different beast species alone, but of those only about ten thousand have actually been identified. And so we're worried that we are losing species that we don't even know could you paint of a wealthy bees and just sort of give us an idea of the range of fruits and vegetables that we would lose a world of bees and other pollinators would be very bland in very scary Biesen other pollinators are are essential for pollinating about seventy five percent of the leading food crops that humans depend on for food, particularly when it comes to fruits and seed crops, that, that we need. So if you can imagine a world without raspberries, a world without peaches, apples, melons, and members of the, the squash, family. That's what we'd be dealing with what he's doing to protect. The wills pollinators. We're doing a couple of things to protect the world's pollinators one is that we're raising awareness, just much like this podcast just trying to bring to the forefront, the threats facing bees and pollinators and the, the, the dire state that they're in one is that we work with policymakers. And so we're, we're providing advice the policymakers on pollinator-friendly practices in agriculture especially, but pollinator-friendly practices, such as ecological based farming systems, such as the reduction of hazardous pesticides promoting ecology as a away for sustainable food, Negra cultural systems. We also work at the ground level as well in terms of, of projects and trying to better mainstream the importance of biodiversity like these pollinators in food and agriculture systems, but also delight. Hoods because many people depend on, on supplemental income from the products of these Impala maters. And so what about us ordinary citizens? What can I do to help ensure the future of obeys? You know, one thing that you can do is. I think you have a respect for bees, pollinators in what they do and they killed them. Don't heal them. Don't feel frayed of them, but you can also do simple things like if you have a garden, reduce the pesticide in your garden plant different be friendly flowers and other nectar sources for them, you can create an insect hotel for them. What's, what's it insect, Hato insect hotel? You can find out more on the ethical website, but it's a it's a very simple. It's a it's a box or pieces of wood, and hollow openings that, that insects beyond beasts can use the nest in b but the big thing is promoting their habitat. You can also talk to your policymakers and share about the importance of bees in pollinators for for food security for reducing poverty, and also for the production of the products, we love beeswax, and Honey. That was Abram big slow and agriculture officer at the food and Agriculture Organization in Rome.