The New Economy

The New Economy

November 08, 2016 05:00 ET

The New Economy: Killing Bees

LONDON, ENGLAND--(Marketwired - Nov. 8, 2016) - Playing a surprisingly significant role in the world's ecosystem and food supply chain, bees make an incredible contribution to the globe. Yet, as revealed by a special report in The New Economy, global bee numbers are continuing to dwindle and we are running out of time to save them.

While many may see the role of bees as limited to just the honey and wax industries, The New Economy expands on the far more substantial role they play as pollinators of 75 percent of the world's food crops. A conservative estimate is that pollinators contribute between $235bn and $577bn of value to the global food production industry every year. However, with the bee population decreasing, many farmers are forced to import bees just to make sure their crops are pollinated.

One of the factors driving this decline is the increased used of pesticides in agriculture, with bees being an unfortunate causality of many industrial pest control systems. The New Economy also found that the growing disconnect between society's understanding of how food is produced is also driving public ambivalence towards bees.

In order to protect the astonishing value that bees contribute to society, governments need to act on plans to improve farming practices, reduce the use of certain pesticides and improve plans to manage parasites. As the report reads: "We must find a way to balance the needs of a swelling global population with mitigation of the harm we are causing, to the natural environment, while safeguarding it as well".

To read the report in full, alongside others on the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, the grand resurgence of the US' 'Sun Belt', the power of passwords and the future of energy security, pick up the latest issue of The New Economy, available online and in print now.

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