Bee population decline threatens food safety


Since 2017, May 20 has been celebrated as the “ World Bee Day ” to raise awareness about the decline of the bee population in the world.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) data, the main factor in pollination, which contributes greatly to agricultural crops, is the reduction in the number of bees, raising concerns about food safety.

Bees, which are the main actors in pollinating flowers in order for plants to produce seeds and fruits, have a great importance in the food chain.

Bees and similar pollinators that balance the ecosystem affect 35 percent of crop production worldwide, according to FAO.

Of the 100 plant species that make up more than 90 percent of the diet, three-quarters are obtained through the pollination of bees.

Pollination not only enables fruit and seed production, but also provides greater variety and yield.

The decline in the bee population in the world in recent years is attributed to the chemicals used in agriculture, the human factor and the deterioration of the ecological system.

Studies show that the yield of apples, cherries and blueberries is reduced due to insufficient pollination.

Experts point out that the extinction of bee species will lead to the destruction of plants, crops and potentially the entire ecosystem, due to the domino effect.

FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva points out that the reduction in the number of bees can directly affect crops such as coffee, apples, almonds, tomatoes and cocoa.

Silva emphasizes that even growing flowers at home contributes to efforts to increase the bee population.

World bee map was prepared for the first time

Scientists have prepared the distribution map of bees, which are estimated to have more than 20 thousand species in the world.

On the map, unlike other animals, it was observed that bee species increased towards the poles, while diversity decreased near the equator.

While bees prefer deserts and temperate environments compared to tropical regions, it is shown that trees provide less food to bees compared to stunted plants and flowers.

Experts state that the most bee species are seen in the USA, but there is more unexplored diversity in the African continent and higher parts of the Middle East than in the tropics.

On the map, Turkey is among the countries where bee diversity is intense.

The effect of Kovid-19 on beekeeping

It is stated that the new type of coronavirus (Kovid-19) epidemic spreading from Wuhan, China, has negatively affected beekeeping as well as all other sectors.

Experts state that beekeepers have become unable to do their jobs due to transportation restrictions imposed to control Kovid-19 in the beekeeping industry, which requires intensive labor.