Loss of bees could harm health of millions of people (U.S. News & World Report)
- Impact Area
Bees, in their role as master pollinators, increase crop yields, leading to more production of healthy fruits, vegetables, and nuts. But new research claims that the challenges these important insects face from changes in land use, harmful pesticides, and climate change is affecting food production, leading to less healthy food in global diets and more diseases causing excess deaths.
Lower-income countries also lost significant agricultural income because of these lower yields, potentially 10% to 30% of total agricultural value, the researchers found.
“The results might seem surprising, but they reflect the complex dynamics of factors behind food systems and human populations around the world. Only with this type of interdisciplinary modeling can we get a better fix on the magnitude and impact of the problem,” study co-author Timothy Sulser, a senior scientist at the International Food Policy Research Institute, said in a Harvard news release.
The researchers noted that this isn’t simply an environmental issue, but one that affects health and economics.