How Long Could We Live Without Bees?

 

There is a famous quote that says, “if the bee disappears from the surface of the earth man would have no longer than four years to live.” This quote is famously misattributed to Albert Einstein, which did not surprise me because I did not think Einstein was a bee expert. Whoever the quote does belong to was not correct in their statement. Actually humans could likely sustain themselves without any bees on the planet at all.

Bees and humans have a long history together. For example, humans have been using bees since 20,000 BC, which was before humans discovered agriculture. Once agriculture was discovered it was likely beekeeping that made it possible. But do all crops require pollination?

A recent study revealed that eighty seven percent of crops today use bees as pollinators, but not all of those crops require bee pollination as twenty eight percent of crops could grow without the assistance of pollination. Actually sixty percent of food consumed today does not require bee pollination. However, our most nutritious foods do need bees to exist, such as apples, avocados, and onions. Therefore, without bees food would become more scarce, and our diets would suffer. So, the answer is “yes” we would survive, but our dinner plates would not be as appetizing.

Is it possible that we could one day live in a world in which all bees have gone extinct?

There is a famous quote that says, “if the bee disappears from the surface of the earth man would have no longer than four years to live.” This quote is famously misattributed to Albert Einstein, which did not surprise me because I did not think Einstein was a bee expert. Whoever the quote does belong to was not correct in their statement. Actually humans could likely sustain themselves without any bees on the planet at all.

Bees and humans have a long history together. For example, humans have been using bees since 20,000 BC, which was before humans discovered agriculture. Once agriculture was discovered it was likely beekeeping that made it possible. But do all crops require pollination?

A recent study revealed that eighty seven percent of crops today use bees as pollinators, but not all of those crops require bee pollination as twenty eight percent of crops could grow without the assistance of pollination. Actually sixty percent of food consumed today does not require bee pollination. However, our most nutritious foods do need bees to exist, such as apples, avocados, and onions. Therefore, without bees food would become more scarce, and our diets would suffer. So, the answer is “yes” we would survive, but our dinner plates would not be as appetizing.

Is it possible that we could one day live in a world in which all bees have gone extinct?

About smithereenpestmanagement

Smithereen Pest Management provides IPM pest services to residential and commercial clients in Kansas, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Missouri. http://www.smithereen.com/
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