Bees and insect pollinators play a key role for the survival of ecosystems.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that out of some 100 crop species which provide 90% of food worldwide, 71 of these are bee-pollinated. In Europe alone, 84% of the 264 crop species are animal pollinated and 4 000 vegetable varieties exist thanks to pollination by bees.
Without insect pollination, about one third of the crops we eat would have to be pollinated by other means, or they would produce significantly less food. Up to 75% of our crops would suffer some decrease in productivity.
Beside crop plants, most wild plants (around 90% of them) need animal-mediated pollination to reproduce, and thus other ecosystem services and the wild habitats providing them also depend – directly or indirectly – on insect pollinators.
Bees are an extremely important and sensitive “environmental indicator”; the production of honey in Italy has also been severely compromised by the poisoning of thousands of bee families that means that the state of the Italian environment is not so good.
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