Making a beeline for disaster? The decline of pollinators puts agriculture at risk
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The biomass of flying insect populations in different protected nature reserves in Germany has dropped by as much as 75% in the past 27 years (Hallmann et al 2017). And for bees, one of the key pollinators, this trend has been even more alarming, with colony collapse disorder (CCD) decimating the number of honeybee colonies. In the US, this trend has triggered a price increase for farmers who depend on pollination services. Farmers are the first in line to carry the burden of the pollinators’ decline but they are by no means the only ones – the trend is affecting the entire agricultural value chain. And it is not only about the economics of farms – pollinators and biodiversity in general represent cultural or spiritual values.