patrickkavanagh [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

This article was originally published on: European Commission.


“Ecosystems that contain only a few bee species underperform in terms of plant production whereas those with many different species thrive, according to research which highlights the importance of bee diversity to securing the world’s food supply.

Wild bees are hugely important not only to natural environments, but also to our very way of life. They are vital for pollinating wildflowers, as well as many of the crops we rely on for our everyday daily vegetables and fruit.

‘One out of every three mouthfuls of food that you consume relies on the pollination activity of bees and other insects,’ said Mark Brown, professor in evolutionary ecology and conservation at Royal Holloway, University of London in the UK. ‘It’s essential for Europe that we have a sustainable bee population.’

But as climate change continues to warm the world and humans impact local environments through farming and the use of chemicals, pollinators such as bees are struggling. The European Red List categorises 77 bee species as under threat, out of a total of 1,942 species in Europe. And this may well be an underestimate, because for more than half of all European bee species – 1,101 – there is not enough data to evaluate their risk of extinction…”

Read on at: European Commission.