How Valuable Are Pollinators?

Here’s a statistic that will come in handy next time you’re at a one of those cocktail parties where somebody pooh-poohs biological diversity by asking “Who needs insects anyway?” According to a paper in the journal Ecological Economics, the economic value of pollinators, especially bees, is about $217 billion a year. As reported in Science Daily, the study suggests that if it continues, the current decline of pollinators worldwide will have the biggest effect on fruits and vegetables, followed by oilseed crops. Crops that generally don’t depend on pollinators, such as cereals, sugar cane, and spices, would suffer fewer adverse affects.

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