2012-08-14

The Solution To Our Mysterious Dying Bees Might Be Right Under Our Nose

Our entire food system is threatened by the mass die-off of imported honey bees, but one scientist thinks she’s found a way around the problem: the bees we already have.

Each year, farmers in the U.S. import millions of honeybees, which aren’t native, to pollinate crops like apples, strawberries, and almonds. But those honey bees are dying quickly from the ravages of the still mysterious colony collapse disorder, which is decimating our bee population and making it difficult for farmers to pollinate crops.

But Berkeley conservation biologist Claire Kremen’s research with test farms in California shows importing these now-fragile populations isn’t necessary. Wild bees, which have so far been unaffected by colony collapse, can alone provide enough crop pollination to keep us fed.

For more videos and stories on innovative solutions in food technology, check out the rest of our Feeding the Future series.

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