The UN on Thursday expressed alarm at a huge decline in bee colonies under a multiple onslaught of pests and pollution, urging an international effort to save the pollinators that are vital for food crops. Much of the decline, ranging up to 85 percent in some areas, is taking place in the industrialised northern hemisphere due to more than a dozen factors, according to a report by the UN's environmental agency. They include pesticides, air pollution, a lethal pinhead-sized parasite that only affects bee species in the northern hemisphere, mismanagement of the countryside, the loss of flowering plants and a decline in beekeepers in Europe. "The way humanity manages or mismanages its nature-based assets, including pollinators, will in part define our collective future in the 21st century," said UNEP executive director Achim Steiner. "The fact is that of the 100 crop species that provide 90 percent of the world's food, over 70 are pollinated by bees," he added.Remember my post on the fertile soils (terra preta) created by First Nations people in the Amazon? The same soils that have maintained their fertility for hundreds of years without fertilizers made from oil while being fantastically productive? We could create the same kind of soils in Canada. and farm and garden organically. Then, perhaps we wouldn't destory the ecosystems upon which we depend. Our survival will be measured and secured by these kinds of step - seemingly small, labour intensive, steps that one can take ina community garden.
"But in a sense they are an indicator of the wider changes that are happening in the countryside but also urban environments, in terms of whether nature can continue to provide the services as it has been doing for thousands or millions of years in the face of acute environmental change," he added.http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/environment/global-warming/UN-alarmed-at-huge-decline-in-bee-numbers/articleshow/7676603.cms